I'm going to drive you all crazy I just know it! Okay, I think it's
been at least 2 weeks (I hope it's been that long)that I posted here
and got some great advice - the main thing being to just say school
is done for the year, no more me asking her every day what she wants
to do, filling her backpack with things to do while I work - to just
back off!

Since then, my daughter has LIVED on the computer, she discovered a
new game and the normal routine is for her to stay up until 2am,
watch Roseanne until 3am, read a little bit and probably fall asleep
by 4am or so. She'll sleep in until anywhere between 2-3pm in the
afternoon when all her friends get home from school then she's on the
phone and playing this new game on the computer. We are talking 11
hours on the computer most days. This new schedule has stopped her
going to chorus at school, she missed the last two art classes
through our homeschool co-op which she liked going to but today was
the last one and she didn't want to get up for it. I'm going to work
for a couple of hours in the morning which is okay I guess although
she's a little nervous about staying home alone so if she was awake
she'd be nervous. I also know this new schedule makes it impossible
for me to keep certain scheduled appointments so I'm having to cancel
appointments and reschedule.

Her cousins are coming to stay with us for 8 weeks this summer and
I'd love to be able to take everyone to the park, beach, library
etc... but I'm afraid that if I don't limit her computer time, she'll
not be starting her day until 3pm in the afternoon and her two
cousins will have been waiting around all day for her - she's not
easy to wake up.

This just seems like she's living a total seperate life than everyone
else. She expressed an interest in a few 4H projects and earning the
Girl Scout Silver Award so we bought several books etc... for these
two things and she did a little until I backed off and now she's just
on the computer. I haven't mentioned them but I've got the 4H leader
and people in our girl scout troop wanting her to come work with them
on different things and now she doesn't seem interested anymore.

I guess I'm a bad parent, I am just having serious doubts that she'll
get tired of the computer and want to do anything else. We've had
problems for 2 years with her "obsession" with the computer - this
caused a lot of problems when she was in school and had homework to
do.....I'm trying to look at it as the computer is her passion and
who knows where that could lead and she's been saying she wants to
create computer security systems for banks - that's great but how is
playing this game related to that?



--- In [email protected], "greencow32766"
<McGeath3@a...> wrote:
> get tired of the computer and want to do anything else. We've had
> problems for 2 years with her "obsession" with the computer -
> Tracie
And I'm guessing that for those two years you argued, limited,
bargained, etc "can't use the computer until you get your
schoolwork/chores/whatever done..." Now she's got the freedom to
indulge herself at will. Ever had anyone tell you you *can't* have
something (M&Ms, cookies, a bubble bath, whatever) until...? And you
spent all that time thinking about it most likely and counting
minutes until you could... And you counted and grabbed those M&Ms as
quickly and as many as you could manage before they were again
restricted. Same thing she's doing right now. And it's only been a
short time.

Flip side is that there may be things that cannot be rescheduled
without cost or pain. That's when you two sit down and figure out a
compromise - you need her to be able to get up in the morning, she
wants to play this game and whatall, is she willing to be home by
herself (if she's old enough), all that stuff. Talk it out- LOTS of
talk. If there's one big common denominator I've seen in all
unschooling households is lots of TALK, for fun, for information,
for connection, for arriving at compromise to keep the *family*
running relatively smoothly.

As far as the "other people", again, sit down and discuss with her
freely, not to 'get' her to do these things but rather "These people
are waiting on you for this. Do we need to tell them it's on hold
for now?" (not worded well but you get the gist).

Cousin-wise, get her involved in the planning for their visit - she
might use the Internet to find interesting things to do for the time
they are in town, for example. Have her type up and print out a
list. USE her computer skills to make things fun for all. It's
possible that by the time they arrive (if they're in school they
likely won't be there for at least a month from now or longer), she
might have eaten her fill on this game and be willing to ease back


Jacqueline Parks

*****I am just having serious doubts that she'll
get tired of the computer and want to do anything else.*****

We first got at home internet access in October 2003, and 24 hours a
day was not enough time for my five children and me to explore. We
fought over time and continuously had to compromise. Someone was on
the computer at every moment with sleep schedules staggered to squeeze
out every second of computer time. No one thought they had enough.
Were we exploring all the wonderful information available here? Not
really, the kids mostly played Neopets, and I mostly read email lists
especially this one. <g>

Do we still do that? No. Eventually our interests moved on and now
my 7 and 11 yo dd's rarely use the computer. I could just see a more
traditionally inclined parent trying to limit them back then and now
forcing them, lol! I still use the computer about 8 hours a day, but
for a wide variety of things. My 11 yo ds and 8 yo dd use it
regularly for email, a few games, writing, and occasionally looking
things up. My 16 yo dd progressed from a few months of nothing but
Neopets to managing several websites, doing paid graphic design work,
writing award winning fan-fic, and keeping the entire family up on
current events. She also currently spends around 8 hours a day on the

I wouldn't worry. If you don't restrict her, she will find the path
that is best for her. Of course, if her activities are seriously
affecting other family members in a negative way some compromise might
be in order, not just by her but by others too.