Feel daughter is addicted to internet

(27 Posts)
febel Tue 19-Nov-13 08:17:08

hi, please don't shoot me down in flames for being stupid..but my YD, just 16, seems addicted to the internet/being on line. We had a huge row last night which ended not only in the vile things she screams at me but also in her kicking, screaming and scratching my face (yes, our relationship has got to this sorry state) because I ask her to come off at 10pm...which considering she gets up for college at 6.50am and gets back home at 5.30pm, I think is late enough? I did try to leave it on a week ago but she just stays on it until 11/12 at night. She is supposed to turn lights out around 10.30. Last night I went up, not having turned the wifi off, and she was still on it at 10.20...I was polite about her turning it off as it was 20 minutes after we had asked her to abide by but she just erupted..again.
Am I being draconian? Do your teenagers stay on all the time? I work with teenagers and we have problems with them not being able to think properly because they are so tired through being on line/gaming til the early hours. She says EVERYONE goes on all the time..she takes it in with her to brush her teeth even. We are very concerned, she is bad tempered and moody, and extremely touchy and very very volatile, particularly after she has been on line, comes in at 5.30, goes straight upstairs and on line, walks about with her I pad on, stays upstairs all the time apart from a quick meal downstairs. Since she got her i-pad last xmas (before then it was internet only downstairs) her behaviour has got worse and worse...beyond what we have experienced as normal (!) teenager behaviour...she is our 3rd daughter and sadly feel our relationship is breaking down. I have told her I love her and I feel I am doing my best for her ...we do a lot for her,as we did for our other two, and wanted to, ferry her about, pay for stuff, support her etc
Punishment wise for behaviour nothing works anyway, she'll just shout aggressively "DO IT!" and as she has a job doesn't need money that much off us. It is upsetting us so much, we thought we were through the terrible teenager bit but since she has gone to college it's got much worse

Do you know what she's doing online?

BadgerBumBag Tue 19-Nov-13 08:37:58

My nephew is like this and it is worrying. Is there any way you can get rid of the Internet temporarily? Ask her to pay for it if she wants it?

Palika Tue 19-Nov-13 08:55:27

febel
internet addiction is real and will be included into the catalogue of mental diseases (or has already been included).

What you need to do is to sit down with dd beforehand, agree what are acceptable times, and what will happen if she loses it again and is violent etc. Obviously, she should then be having an internet-free time for a while and then try again.

You should also devise a strategy that she should switch off the internet by herself and if she does not then automatically the consequence should kick in, so that you should not be involved in the battle field.

As internet addiction is real you could also ask your GP for a referral to the mental health service if her violence continues.

It is vital that you get your dd to recognise what is going on when she is in a good mood and put everything down in writing.

MrsBright Tue 19-Nov-13 09:57:12

Unplug the internet when she shouldn't be on it.
Take phone away at night (or stop paying for it until she complies).

Yes, you will obviously be the meanest mother in the world but either you take back control or you'll never fix this issue.

wakemeupnow Tue 19-Nov-13 13:21:05

Sounds like my Ds2 . I turn off Wifi at 9.30 every school night and fortunately his phone only gets a signal if he balances on his window ledge grin

He even takes his computer into the bath and toilet with him.. It was easier before as he shared the family computer but his school had the bright idea to give all their pupils a laptop angry.

My Ds1 went through a similar phase at the same age, 15. I was seriously worried he'd develop curvature of the spine from so much time spent sitting hunched up in bed over his laptop. After a couple of years of having to prise him off he got bored and is on it much less now. I think they do eventually get bored and move on; so whilst I still limit my Ds 2, I worry less about it being addictive long term.

Claybury Tue 19-Nov-13 13:57:09

I have teens aged 15 and 16 and we have no internet after 10pm and they have no data on their phones. They were a bit annoyed about this when we set it up a few months back but only a bit irritated. I did it primarily for sleep hygiene reasons, so when they go up to bed I know they are not online.
It does sound like you need to ask what she is actually doing online though.

febel Tue 19-Nov-13 15:32:28

Thank you.. doubt she'd tell me, would tell me I was pathetic (fave phrase for me at mo) or would lie...done that before and she's quite good at it tho tends to get found out as makes mistakes sooner or later. I had to go to work with bruised face today as she'd thrown something at me last night in temper...caused a lot of questions! Feel better knowing other people turn/ask for them to get off internet as according to her we are the strictest, most horrible parents ever and NOBODY has to come off internet..she has asked EVERYONE!
Hope it's a phase..but the violent and unpredictable behaviour is a concern....

I think you need to start monitoring her Internet usage and find out what sites she is visiting and who she is talking to/what she is doing. I would absolutely completely cut her off when she treats you so terribly.

febel Tue 19-Nov-13 16:10:12

How would I moniter her internet usage though as it's off her I pad..which no doubt she has a password on? She takes it with her everywhere I have realised, to college etc. Wish it would break..have to say, our real trouble started when we got the I pad (she did put money towards it)
I am cutting her off although it hurts me to do so, no lifts this week etc..and not looking forward to telling her that tho as that will spark another vitrolic outburst and possible violence

casualvacancy Tue 19-Nov-13 19:07:15

If she has a gmail account and you can somehow contrive to get her to sign into it on your computer..... Maybe say gmail is not working for you and can she sign into hers just to check it's ok ...and then hope she forgets to sign out , or set your computer to save passwords confused blush

you can then via her google account see her google search history on her ipad on your computer... very sneaky and underhand but if you are genuinely worried....

febel Wed 20-Nov-13 07:58:10

she's gone from bad to worse, she won't listen or talk, it's all sarcasm, and says she's going straight from college to canoeing and not coming home tonight. I simply don't know how to move forward :-(

febel Wed 20-Nov-13 07:59:32

ps: she ignores what we say and just does what she wants by hook or by crook, to hell with us

FrauMoose Wed 20-Nov-13 08:03:53

I don't seek to control my 16 year old's internet use. Depending on what I've read - e.g. the stories about Ask fm - I sometimes check to make sure she stays safe online. She gets up for sixth form college. I know her coursework is getting done and she's making good progress. She reads books sometimes, watches TV with us sometimes, takes part in regular family meals and tell us things. I also know that she has a real, actual social life rather than a virtual one.

In a couple of years she may be off at university. I won't be there to go round pulling out plugs and arguing with her then.

webwiz Wed 20-Nov-13 08:41:08

I think if she is reacting in such an extreme way you need to start seriously limiting access to the internet. DD1 used to be on it half the night and then would be foul in the morning. We would switch the router off but she was using a neighbours unsecured network so that she could stay on it half the night.

I think its like a lot of things in that some teens need a bit more guidance than others to get into good habits. I don't control DS's(16) internet use because I don't have to but that's irrelevant for this thread hmm

febel Wed 20-Nov-13 08:49:01

well i'm glad your 16 year old is like you say she is FrauMoose it's nice to have a child like that....my elder two were like that too...but not my youngest, which is why I am on here, asking for advice.

FrauMoose Wed 20-Nov-13 08:54:11

Yes, I did think after I posted that it depends on the child febel. I guess my starting point would be that there are non-negotiables getting up for school, getting work done etc - and provided these were done as I wasn't going to lay down the law.

My stepson was not very amenable to this approach, but then he chose not to live with us because he didn't like boundaries and his mother was less inclined to impose them.

I am not sure that as a parent I am capable of the strict, authoritarian laying down of the law, that some parents seem to feel absolutely entitled to do. My bent is more towards trying to keep dialogue open - and letting people experience the consequences of their actions.

coffeeaddict Wed 20-Nov-13 10:50:39

Dialogue is great but I think that for some it's like alcohol and you need to go cold turkey.

I recently took a v extreme step and banned all computer games from the house as I worried my 15 year old was becoming mildly addicted. He only played a few hours at weekend/evenings but thought about it and talked about it ALL the time. To my mind, if it is cluttering up your brain to that extent, it is a problem.

All his friends play online. It has not been easy. But three weeks on he is a different boy. I feel like he's come out of a cloud. He watches movies. He talks about things other than games. Sometimes I feel like an Amish mother but I think for some of these teens it is like saying to an alcoholic, 'have two glasses of wine, then stop'. It's too difficult. I feel I am giving him a chance to be something different, even if he hates me for it.

My elder son does not have the same addictive tendencies. Same upbringing, different personality. I didn't have to do anything so extreme with him.

Good luck. It's really hard, especially when apparently EVERY OTHER parent allows X Y Z....

FrauMoose Wed 20-Nov-13 11:06:30

Perhaps it's the enthusiasm with which some people say, 'Take the X-box away, disconnect the power, withdraw privileges, ground the child, let them no who's boss' that freaks me out.

I had very authoritarian parents and their unwillingness to listen or compromise or understand that a lot of what I wanted to do was normal harmless growing-up stuff (go out and see friend but not come back especially late, be trusted to do this and do my homework etc) permanently damaged our relationship - as well as driving me further into some quite risky behaviour.

Palika Wed 20-Nov-13 12:29:00

there are a lot of rules and consequences in our house but they are all agreed with DS and put down in a signed contract. It works well!

Coffeeaddict: interesting point! my DS has limited access to computer games but it is all he every thinks and talks about. sad

OMG - what I am i to do - his birthday and Christmas is coming up and I have no idea what to get him other than games and gadgets. confused

terri202 Thu 21-Nov-13 10:01:49

my daughter has some very similar issues. She is isolating herself from me,dad and sis and says she cant bear being around us. likewise again she can be delightful in other company, so she is very selective with her obnoxious bhaviour. Spends all her time with phone in hand or on ipad/lap top/inher room
How do you switch wifi off at night? can you set this to happen automatically? maybe this would at least ensure some time off, improve sleep> like a previous message, i suspect she might be a better person for it. not really helpful for febel but helps to know sometimes that others have very similar issues. it can be very lonely.

Madbess Thu 21-Nov-13 13:44:06

Frau I really think it is so different with every child. On these threads people appear 'draconian' when they instigate strict measures after reaching a crisis point with a child. With a child addicted to gaming this may be the only way forward. For some kids there is no problem hence no need for rules.
I have different rules for my teens which have arisen organically due to circumstance. Eg The eldest gets no allowance as he would spent it on drugs, the younger gets an allowance & I don't even need to ask where it gets spent.

Madbess Thu 21-Nov-13 13:51:24

Terri - you can unplug the router or on ours you can set it to go off and on at a certain time. Our kids can't accuse us of being hypocrites as nobody in the house is online after a certain time.
My eldest sounds like your Dd - extremely withdrawn from all family, popular at school. It's not pleasant to live with. As if he clicks a switch at the front door and becomes a different person.

Kleinzeit Thu 21-Nov-13 18:07:36

Maybe I am talking nonsense but at this stage I would take the emphasis off the device and focus more on lowering the conflict and aggression?

You say that you do a lot for your DD – especially, that you ferry her around? Could that be your way in? Talking in the car is less confrontational because you aren’t face to face. Maybe you could talk to her while you are driving her somewhere, tell her that you are worried about her, and that the levels of aggression are scaring you, and that you love her and just want to look after her and enjoy her company. You might not get a (polite) answer, but she might hear you, even if she doesn’t respond or is rude. You might also tell her, that you will listen if there is anything she wants to tell you. She might tell you some things you don’t want to hear, but it’s better that she puts them into words, even unreasonable ones or rude ones than into physical violence; and it’s helpful if whatever she says, you say “OK” or “I need to think about that” rather than argue against her or tell her off for being rude.

(Sorry if you’ve already tried this approach and got nowhere, of course!)

Kleinzeit Fri 22-Nov-13 10:30:04

And for what its worth my guess is that if your DD is going to college and working, if she is “on the go” from 7am til 5.30pm every day and then doing extra-curricular activities, then she could be totally “peopled out” and desperate to be left alone to do her own thing. She may be using the iPad partly to shut out other demands. She may have less “social energy” than her sisters, so by the time she has done all this outside stuff she has no reserves left to deal with family. Even the least demand - to talk with you, or to turn the iPad off – and kaboom. There are lots of social demands on teenagers, and sometimes they only have enough energy for the outside world.

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