Should my 15 year old daughter have restrictions on her computer?

Cynthia - posted on 05/19/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My daughter was given her own laptop a year ago to help with her studies and she was thrilled. My husband put on Norton Protection so as to block out certain sites along with a time limit of one hour a day. She was happy with this to start but this changed when she compared this to what other friends were allowed. We have had so many outburts from her over the past year as she gets so angry and feels we don't trust her. My husband and I have endless discussions about this .... he feels she would be on the computer all the time and also feels that he is not willing to take the risk of her having no protection. I stand in the middle...I see his point as I am not in great favour of the internet and effects it has on our children...but I can see how my daughter feels. I have asked many friends what they do and they all seem to allow their children unrestricted time and no protection at all. This has become a real problem in our family. I am aware that our daughter will be 16 this year and wonder if its a good idea to have these restrictions now and if so, when should we giver her more freedom and responsibility to make her own decisions.
My other child who is about to turn 10 wants a tablet for his birthday coming up next week...This is another issue where he sees his friends with so much technology and he has none....Again yes..my husband and I discussed this last night and he does not agree with him having this as he would be on it all the time. Any suggestions or feedback would be great....

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Phyllis - posted on 05/19/2014

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Yes. She should have restrictions. With freedom comes responsibility. Is she ready to handle that responsibility, or is she vulnerable enough to be influenced by her friends that have little or no restrictions? It would depend on the maturity of the child and ability to handle the freedom upon which I would base my decision. Some children are more trustworthy than others. A 10 year old boy? Definitely not. A 15 year old girl? I would seriously hesitate. But I don't know your daughter.

You might consider increasing your daughter's time limit on the computer. I would not take away the protection. There are too many weirdos out there--and teens are extremely curious. They don't know all the stuff that can happen to them. You have a better idea about what's out there than she does. You're the mom. Don't be intimidated to exercise your loving control--even if it isn't popular with your children. They may never thank you...but they will understand it someday when they have their own children.

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