Last evening our daughter who is living out of our home came home and she said she is going to write us a letter of all the things she is feeling. She tells her dad when she wants to do homework that I am always yelling at her because something else needs to be done.
The last time I wanted help to clean the laundry room which she had agreed to help with but she hollers at me, mom, can't you leave me alone I’m trying to do homework. I thought ok, fair enough but when I checked later she spent all afternoon chatting to friends on the computer and little homework would have been done.
When your children need computers for homework now, do you control them not being on the chatline otherwise? I always felt this was trust and now I feel betrayed. Any suggestions? She also does not want us to respond to her letter, but I feel we have a right to let her know what our feelings are on the whole situation also.
Hi E. & P.,
Out of control kids often use “homework” as an excuse to avoid doing chores. If she has a chore to do, then give her a choice: She can choose to do the chore within the next 5 minutes, or she can choose the consequence for NOT doing it – it’s her choice. More on this here: www.myoutofcontrolteen.com
Re: computer use for homework.
Out of control kids often say they are doing their “homework” when in fact they are on MySpace (or something similar). The computer should be viewed as just another toy (i.e., a privilege, not a right). Thus, if she abuses the privilege, the toy should be taken away. If she complains that she will get into trouble with her teachers for not doing her “homework,” then she will get a double consequence – one at home and one at school. But that would be her choice.