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How can we resolve this conflict with computer & texting limits??

DD, 16, has had 1500 texts per month and was supposed to have a 1 hour limit on the computer (she uses it to write so that's a gray area sometimes). Now she wants unlimited texting to stay more connected to best friends and boyfriend, and be more social with some acquaintances. We have said we'd consider it if she'd get away from the "connectivity" and do other things that are healthy, positive, enriching. She complains a lot of feeling generally crappy, no energy to do so many things...take time to exercise, eat better, sleep better (we keep telling her to go to bed earlier, by 10), take the vitamins, drink less coffee, more water, etc. It's become a vicious cycle. Last night when I got home from work at 10, she was still sitting in front of the computer, phone nearby, not showered, etc. My DH said he told her earlier to get off and get ready for bed, but yet, nothing...she denied he'd said that. It was 11:30 by the time she was ready for bed. Missed the bus this AM and was pissed I wouldn't run out in the freezing cold in my PJs to get her to school on time. I told her no computer today, and the texting's going to have to wait until we see responsibility in keeping to the limits...we are tired of having to always keep on her. She's old enough to figure it out. With freedom comes responsibility, but they don't necessarily want to deal with the second part. Then we get the "I can't do anything right" comments. Any thoughts on how to resolve this ongoing conflict?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:18 AM on Dec. 7, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (14)
  • Use the parental controls in your computer. From the superuser account (administrator) you should be able to set time limits as well as the times that account is allowed to log in on all the other user accounts. Change your password regularly.

    Answer by Jenny-talia at 9:21 AM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • She might be 16 but she is still your child. If you tell her it is time for bed then she needs to go and if she doesn't then you take away computer time or something else she likes. She is becoming an adult but she isn't there yet and still needs discipline at times. I wouldn't be letting her drink coffee either. 16 is a rough age and it is hard on both parents and the teens. I agree with not upping the texting limit until she shows some more responsibility and I would continue to limit computer time. See if you can get her interested in any activities outside of school, likes sports or even an instrument. Good luck mama!!

    Answer by kmath at 9:24 AM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • It is called MAKE HER. Take her cell phone away. Lock her out of the computer. Embarrass her by making her take a shower. Go in there with her and make sure she showers. Coffee, if you have to stop having coffee in the house.


    Answer by louise2 at 9:27 AM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • My kids regularly used thousands of texts(I'm guilty too but not that much). They are in college now and still do. We have unlimited texting so that's not a problem. I would not worry about that unless it affects their schoolwork. As for the computer, if you don't want her on it then you need to make a more concerted effort to keep her off. Your husband told her to get off but obviously didn't follow up. Kids are going to push the limits and if not corrected they will continue to "get away with it"

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 9:28 AM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • I would sit down with her and come up with a plan together. If she is involved and helps to come up with the punishments and rewards then she will feel in more control of it all and there for more willing. You want for her to take better care of herself, she wasn't more texting and computer time. So if she can adhere to a reasonable bed time during the week then Fri. & Sat. she can stay up some time on the computer if she wishes. If she can find time for some excersise each week and cut down the coffee for a month then she can have more texting. I would make the excersising, a family affair as well as the coffee. Maybe all join the Y, or go for walks or a bike ride. Tell her how proud of her you are for each effort, even if she rolls her eye or ignores you, it matters to her to hear it. For longer goals like a month, each week do something to celebrate her/the family success, . . . . .

    Answer by DevilInPigtails at 9:39 AM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • cont. .. . . . . ie special family dinner (her pick), some trinket she wanted. Some small reward. Simply put reward what you want to see and you will get results.

    Answer by DevilInPigtails at 9:41 AM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • As far as the morning goes and going to bed on time, do what my mom did with my brother. He could have up to 2 hours for computer a day earned this way: 30 min if he went to bed on time the night before without complaint, 30 min if he got to the bus on time, 30 min if he did all of that days chores without having to be reminded and without complaint, and 30 min if he has all As and Bs on his last report card (though if he didn't get to school on time, got on before his chores where done, or had anything less and a C on his report card, he lost all computer time.) It worked really well, and it stil does. I don't know about the texting because he doesn't, I do very frequently and 1500 seems like a lot for someone who is in school 5 days a week, I would check to see if she is texting in school.

    Answer by JLS2388 at 9:42 AM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • I had my texting completely turned off till i showed responsibility plus mom would take the computer cord with need to "retrain" her thought patterns it sounds to me as if she has become adicted.maybe you should put a program on the computer to see EXACTLY what she is doing because coming from a 16 year old, myself , we are not always doing what we are suppose to be doing.

    Answer by MaybeMommy1994 at 10:35 AM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • You're still her mother and the one in charge. Yes, she's growing up but now is when you need to start challenging her to show responsibiltiy and to suffer the consequences if she doesn't. I have 3 teens and everyone has time limits on the computer and the cell phones. If their grades go down, then I take possession of the cell phones. Also, my 15 and 16 yo are in their rooms and going to bed by 10 PM except in very rare instances. My oldest is 18 and she's responsible for herself but the computer's off-limits after 10 and no one gets more than an hour a day on it. Same with the TV on school nights. Take a stand and tell her that she's going to lose the cell phone and computer completely if she can't handle it and still get to school on time. BTW, I agree with not letting her have coffee. Now, you can control if she has it away from home but you can control it in your own house. Good luck, it certainly isn't easy!!

    Answer by ceallaigh at 1:16 PM on Dec. 7, 2010

  • Well, I see texting and IM'ing as our version of gabbing on the phone for hours when we were teens. Technology has just changed. However, there HAS to be limitations. In order to earn say, unlimited texting, your daughter needs to earn that and the way to earn that is to have her homework, chores and shower out of the way for the night. THEN she can go online or text or whatever AFTER everything is done. Get her out of the house. She's 16....encourage her to either volunteer (she could be a Big Sister) or to get a pt job (weekends and school breaks) or to join a school activity. Her diet is not HER is yours. Don't buy coffee for teens weren't allowed to drink coffee or energy drinks while living at home. Buy only healthy foods for her to eat. have her be IN bed by 10p...cell phone, computer, etc. handed over to a parent before she goes to bed. You HAVE control.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:26 PM on Dec. 7, 2010

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