04/24/11 05:27 AM
Re: Frustration...

Just my opinion but I believe that kids at those ages should have access to a computer. The key part about this tho is that I believe it should be well supervised use of a computer. We have a computer in the kitchen that the kids use for just that purpose. They are rarely if ever on it that I dont know about and they know by now to ask nicely first. Heck even my special needs son will ask me if he gets his chores done can he go online - he is so dang proud of the fact that he can go online and log into nick or disney .com all by himself. In fact they are teaching him right now in school how to have his own email and write, recieve correspondence. Still, he is well supervised and it is a positive experiance.

My kids have had cell phones since an early age. They were given to them by my ex. At first I wasnt really sure about then having a cell - my youngest was 11 and my oldest was 13 at the time. Sometimes things come up that I believe that instead of banning altogether just require us to parent smarter and better. Rules were set for the phones as far as when and how much they could be used. No phones after bed, before school and during dinner. Now days kids really do use cell phones to keep in touch with each other and when I think back on it when I was that age I had the phone cord stretched all the way into the dining room so I could talk to my best friend after I did my homework. There are many aspects about my kids having a phone now that I really appreciate. My daughter calls me when she is walking home from school and we chat. I can also get ahold of her when I need to or want to check on her when she walks with her friends down to the park in our subdivision. She txt us last week at lunch that her shoe had broke and we were able to run a new pair over to her right away.

Are you making available a selection of healthy snacks that you do approve of for school? and if (just asking, not judging) it truly is "junk food" why are you keeping it in the house period? (also I just thought of this, were these foods ok and acceptable snacks in her previous home and now they are banned? Not that eating a bag of chips as a school snack is a healthy or my fav choice but it would explain a bit why she feels the need to sneek them from you - and I add this because I rmember a friend that was so upset that her step kids would sneak different foods when they were at friends houses or at school but then it turns out that she wanted them to all follow a very strict diet of no sugar or white bread vegan diet which the kids were not used to. They did change their diet but she realized that she needed to relax on a few things and change others alittle more gradually)

As for her going through drawers looking for things that dont belong to her, no I do not think that is appropriate behavior but there is a part of me that wonders if there are underlying issues - does she feel comfortable living in your home or are all areas of the house "off limits" to them. Kids need to feel like they have their own space as well as spaces that are open to the family. For example, I carry a large supply of homework supplies in the office for them and they are welcome to come and go there when they need to, the kitchen etc are open for them to use as long as they clean up after themselves and they have their own personal spaces that are their own. I will say that I do go in and help them clean up their rooms from time to time so they are whipped back into shape but they work along side me. They also know that drawers in my bedroom and bathroom are off limits unless they ask and my files that I keep bills etc are private. Yes she would be punished but I would look at the "why" she was looking through these areas in the first place.

I think that using a reward system is a good idea. I have always believed that using positive rewards is so much better than a system of punishments. Parenting teenagers is tough enough- they will push boundaries and test you all the time but you have to realize that it is normal and look for the good in them. (which I am not saying that you dont, I am just recommending it). My kids are all teens, and they are great kids, they all get good grades and for the most part I am so proud of them. That said they all do things now and then that make me cringe and we have to deal with... Its just kids - especially ones your nieces ages.... tween is such a tough age, too young for so much and yet to old for alot of things as well. There are books at the library that deal specifically with tween issues you may want to check out. Good luck

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