Biting the Bullet, but Escaping the Birthday Party Black Hole

And you told me that I would HAVE to give that boy a birthday party.


I laugh in your face.

Because I escaped the wrath of birthday party doom for yet another year!
MUUWAHAHAHAHAHA! (said in my best bad guy voice while wringing my hands)

And it only cost me one of these:


We did it.

Our very-soon-to-be 9 year old has his very own computer. In his room. And I only had to barter the birthday party for it. NICE. (And, yes. Those are deer horns on his wall. Because they are better in there than in my living room.)

And he couldn’t be happier.

It goes without saying that since his daddy set it up for him night before last, we have seen neither hide nor hair of the poor boy, because he is pouring over game after game after game. And writing stories. And making charts.

We’re going to institute a whole time schedule thing after the initial getting-to-know-you-period, but this is brand new territory for us.

All of our electronics are in the living room, so they are VERY easily monitored as far as time and equality goes. But this whole in-your-own-room thing is SO new. And a little terrifying.

So…here’s my question. What do you do at your house (as far as time limits go for computer time, etc.) and how do you keep super eagle eyes on the private computer (we have all the filters and stuff, but I’m still find myself a little nervous)? And if you don’t have this specific issue….what do you think you would do? I’m open for ANY help at all.

Now I’m thinking I should have just sucked it up and done the stinkin’ party. Who knew this little black box would be so stressful?!


Ginger@From The Cocoon said...

although we've gotten away from this rule some...our approach during the school year is an hour of technology time per day (not related to homework)...and that includes TV...your choice how you want to spend your hour...TV, Computer, Wii, etc...we're much more lenient during summer.

As for the eagle eye...all chat msgs are saved to a file that I can go back and read later and only mom & dad (together) can erase history. And yes, we've caught our sweet innocent boy in places he shouldn't have been...but it only took once.

Mich said...

Hmmm...I thought he was getting something else for his birthday? Did he get both???

You are hurting me sister, wait till the cousins find out!

Carpoolqueen said...

I don't do it well. The 'puter's in the living room so we can see and hear what they watch. We put a timer on it so it automatically cut off after an hour, but with three boys, that didn't work too well.

If it's just his, then it might.

Kendra said...

We're far from being in that territory, but I already know what we'll do.

No TV in their rooms. No internet in their rooms. Sorry, I didn't have it and I don't want them to get sucked in to the screen and away from the family. We'll probably never have a game system either. We're evil parents that way.

But, when it does come time for our children to go virtual, we will be closely monitoring everything. And it will be required that we have all of their passwords and access to their accounts like Twitter and FaceBook. While I'm their mama and they are under my roof I'll watch them like a hawk. I'm not a helicopter mama, but kids need to be protected in today world. Good luck with it! Just think of the new bartering tool you have with his behavior! Shape up or the computer ships out!

mimi said...

I think that was very clever. We did the same, but with a wii;)

Our boys have computers in their play room and it's really not been a problem. We have not had to regulate, they sort of self-regulate. At first, he will probably want to play all the time(did I mention all the time?) But, then it may be played less and less. I know some moms are laughing at me right now-but,I promise that is what happened with us :) BUT..I also take the computer time away for bad benavior or at my discretion. HTH-though I'm guessing it just sounded confusing :)

lisa@littlesliceoflife said...

What kind of filters are you using? I use Cybersitter but it tends to lock up the system sometimes.

I'm terrible at setting limits. Out of sight is out of mind. I do occasionally view the web history just to be safe. And we have the talk often about not sharing personal information online.

The main problem I have is them accidentally downloading all kinds of crap that clogs up my system.

Gretchen said...

We don't have TV or 'puter in their rooms, but I have friends who do. And honestly, even though the computer is in a common area, I don't hover and see, so he could be going onto a number of sites.

So...recently, we bought Net Nanny. We'll get an email if he goes anywhere "blocked" or which warns him to stay away.

You're right...it IS scary. But it's also the future for these kids. Like gun safety, I think it's not too over the edge to think internet safety is just part of the package.

We do a timer for limits. And like everyone else, sometimes it works better than others. During the summer...it's hard.

You'll find your way.

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

John's brother gave my kids a computer last week (it's nicer than mine!) and Will wanted it in his room. John okayed it. I freaked out when I woke up Monday morning and he was on the internet playing a game.

We set some new ground rules...
1. He must ask permission first and tell me what site he's going to.
2. I will check to make sure that's what he was doing/where he was.
3. Downloads must be approved by us.
4. No personal info shared.
5. 1 hour playtime in the AM; 1 hour in the afternoon (thinking that will change when school starts). And his dad is way more permissive than me and gives him playtime in the evenings too.
6. He has to read for one hour per day BEFORE the computer gets turned on.

I feel like I have to be a little more strict with him than the girls (they could care less about the computer). Will could quite honestly sit there all day long. Just like I could. ;) He's not afraid of pushing the envelope and that's why I'm hyper vigilant with the sites he visits. Some of the gaming sites he likes have some nasty ads. I try to shield him from some of that...