I think this topic gives plenty of food for thought.

I signed into MSN messenger the other day and noticed my just 17 yo home*schooled* niece was signed in. I sent her an IM. She wrote back to say that she wasn't supposed to be IMing and asked me not to tell her parents. I agreed and asked her a few questions about it.

If I thought she were in danger and her parents would help, I would tell them and/or provide what help I could. In this case, it is conservative - but not horrible - parents doling out punishment.

At this point I can do little more than shake my head and feel bad for a family where a daughter is sneaking to use the computer. Maybe the opportunity will come up to discuss it with them in the future or in a general way.

As I write this, my 12 yod is in the same room at another computer, IMing and working on her myspace page. Although *I* am disturbed by some of the ads on myspace, I am listed as a friend on my dd's site and can go there to check it out myself. If I forbid it, I'm sure she would figure out a way to do it anyway. Because I've allowed it, I am able to oversee her activity.

Mary Ellen

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