Yes, I have a problem.
I have been trapped in twitterville for quite sometime now. I have let my iphone, slowly but surely, takeover every aspect of my life. It has replaced my TV and my computer. I do all finances, keep in touch with my family and friends, watch movies, play games, read, and listen to music. I also have educational games for the kids that we do together. That aside, I do have a feeling that it is consuming me. It gives me the ability to zone out completely from what is happening around me and that cannot be good. I have been consistent regarding rules about use of electronics for the kids, but there is no one to stop me from getting out of control as my husband is gone 9 months out of the year.
My first rule is that the internet is used only in the downstairs computer and I check the history, cookies, and caches to make sure they were not visiting any inappropriate sites. It helps that I'm a computer science major, but you don't have to be one to do it and no new software needs to be purchased to do this.
My second rule is there is no electronics in the children's room, other than the alarm clock. Will's phone and Itouch is left in the living room before going to bed. When I gave him some freedom before and he ended up lacking sleep from texting and listening to music and he started to fall behind in school and falling back to his old behaviors.
My last rule is the games (DS, Playstation, Wii, Apps for Itouch/Iphone) is all rated G or have limited violence and no sexual content. They have access to their DS, playstation, and Wii because they have not wanted to play with it everyday. If they wanted to I try to limit it, unless it is the only thing they want to do. Sometimes, I just don't allow it and take them outside to the park and have Will go for a run.
Don't get me wrong. There is no way I can filter out everything. They have watched action movies and other things with violence and some sexual content, but no horror movies. The key is that I speak with them about what they are being exposed to it. They are aware of swearing, but know not to use them. And I have explained it to them in the only way they will understand when it comes to use of the internet.
I'm pretty frank when it comes to the use of Internet. I had to tell them about the digital debris that we leave behind when we use on the Internet. We will die, but what we have done online lives for eternity. The news lately have given a great example for our discussion. I have made it easier for my aspie by making it clear, black and white, legal and illegal, about our online behavior. It has helped. He knows exactly what is not appropriate and legal. And when in doubt, don't do it.
Having said that, I'm not naive. I know he is exposed to things when he leaves the house. But I ask questions and discuss it with him because that is about all you can do. As for the other kids, I prefer to have friends come over to my house and I rarely let them go over to theirs. Sleepovers is something that does not happen unless it is at my house. All I can say is that it is up to you the parent to decide what and how much of it is allowed.
Back to my problem. All is good with what I have set up for my kids. But I have to admit, it is harder when it comes to myself. I have seen lately how it has been affecting me. I do what I need to do like taking the kids to school, homework, appointments and homework. But I see how the house is a little messier, and how I'm backed up in doing other non-essential chores and I definitely don't spend as much time as I used to with the kids and lastly, I haven't updated this blog for awhile.
I am happy to say that participating with this topic has given me the opportunity to reflect on what is currently happening to me. So I will end my piece here to spend the remaining hour with my kids before bed.