Teens and computers/smart phones(6 Posts)
My 13, nearly 14 year old stepdaughter has been living with us since July 2011. We have residence, and she left her mother of her own accord as mum is alcoholic and SD had simply had enough. Whilst living with mum she didn't have a computer or smart phone, barely anything that most teens take for granted nowadays. We always found that when she was living with mum and came to us for weekend or holiday contact, she was wanting to be on our computer constantly, which we accepted (to a point) because we knew she had it rough at her mum's.
Anyway, since living with us she has her own laptop and smart phone. But, her usage is phenomenal, and I just wondered how other parents restrict usage. We have now implemented a 2 hour a day maximum rule of computer/phone time, as we believe that kids should be out and about with their friends (weather permitting), not conducting their entire lives on a computer screen! She's generally okay with this, or was during the Summer months, but we're finding that she's being more sneaky now and goes on her laptop in her room when we've told her not to. Sometimes we have to actually take it away from her simply to encourage her to go and hang out with friends that come to the door for her.
I wonder if our 2 hour a day max limit is mean? She says (as all teens do) 'but so and so is allowed on their computer all day!', to which we tell her that that's up to so and so's parents, but we want her to enjoy a life outside of home and her computer. Because she did have such a rough time with mum and has been having counselling for nigh on 10 months because of it, we are a tad reluctant to put too many restrictions on her. When she was living with her mum, she was the adult and had far too much responsibility for a child. She endured poverty and neglect for much of her young life. However, both my husband and I feel very strongly about limiting her time sat staring at a computer screen.
What do others do with their teens?
My ds's 1&2 aged 17 and 15 have fairly unlimited use. During the week they get in (most days) about 4:30pm and the Internet is on until 10pm. During this time they have to do their homework, music practice, eat their meal etc. They also have two evenings taken up with orchestra practice and some after school study clubs. Ds2 also goes to friends houses (probably to play computer) some evenings. Ds1 occasionally goes out with his friends so, over all I think it balances out. At the weekend we don't switch the router on until lunch time so they normally go swimming and get studying done but spend most of the afternoon online - but then so do I.
Ds3 (6) goes to after school club so doesn't get in until 6pm and goes to bed at 8pm so his use during the week is limited by the time we eat and do homework, bath, reading etc. He uses the computer for about an hour a day on sat and sun but is not really that interested.
ds 1 who is nearly 15 can uses his phone and netbook all day.
He is not allowed them at the dinner table and they have to be left downstairs (we usually charge them) at night.
We dont want people texting and phoning when he should be asleep.
He is not happy about this rule but excepts it. Most of his friends can keep them in their room and text each other all night. He usually has loads of messages in the morning
We make SD bring her phone down at night too, otherwise she wouldn't sleep! I guess everyone's different, so I think we'll stick to the 2 hour rule for now
We do similar to GoldenJubilee - it's really only DD (13) ATM as she has a laptop in her room and an ipod touch. She is pretty good at doing homework well whilst watching catch-up/You-tube/listening to music/FBing/texting, etc However, she also does a lot of sport and goes round to friends, etc so it's not all the time....
I'm impressed that you can get her to bring her phone down - DD won't part with hers, mainly for fear that we will be checking out what she is up to on it!
We are still finding our way, but basic idea is all electronic devices off at 8pm & limited access at other times for shared devices. Game time is what I tend to find needs restrictions, because DS will do it to extreme to exclusion of other stuff. I don't see many problems with FBing, Skyping & texting though. It's all socialising, as long as it doesn't interfere with real life demands. No different than my generation who hogged the house phone for hours at a time.
It's funny how OP says she wants her DD out and about with friends, instead. Like hanging on street corners and getting into trouble, right? Or busy borrowing smart 3G phones to browse the Internet up at the skatepark. Or around friends' houses & busy tapping into their Wifi. At least when she's in her room on your WiFi you have a clue what she's really up to.
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