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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1699
Experience:  Parenting Workshops, Teacher, PHD Clinical Psychology, 30 yrs. Exp. 4 Children
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Hello. We live in Australia, and my daughter is 12 yro just

Resolved Question:

Hello. We live in Australia, and my daughter is 12 yro just started high school.
Since started high school, she changed a lot, so much into going out with friends, very attached to her Facebook and Skype communications with friends and it seems even boys. I somehow feel she likes one of the boys too. Some days she would spend a whole day on the phone and Facebook/Skype. I wish she didn't have access to the internet, and focus more on study, but it's very difficult to make she shift her focus. Any advice on this, what can i do to make her spend less time on these? I suggested she spend max 30 min on net and communications alike, but she doesn't listen. If I get her to close down her Facebook, it's not fair as all her friends are on Facebook...I want her to not to make boyfriend too early at 12, how should I discuss this with her? - I can't even start such conversation as she gets upset.

Also, already her high school results so far aren't so ideal. Apart from completing her home work, she isn't willing to study anything extra. Should she study extra academic study outside school to do better? Would she be ok to just go to school and do home work? If she needs to study more (i think so), what's the best way to make her study more and be interested in studying?

Many thanks for your advice in advance.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Keane :

I can help you today.

Dr. Keane :

At 12 years of age your daughter is the one telling you what is and isn't fair and you have to be the parent and take more control. She, as you know should not be on her facebook all day period. As her parent you have the right and the responsibility to do whatever you must to insure that she is learning and growing in the positive direction.

Dr. Keane :

Basically she is a teenager and for her her friends and the connections to them are the most important thing in her life. I would suggest that you start by sitting her down and talk to her, not at her. By that I mean tell her the you Feel that there needs to be some changes regarding the amount of time she spends online. Then ask her what she feels would be the right amount. I will tell you right now she will say "the same as I am now", then calmy say I know you feel that way however we need to change this behavior and we can do it together or I will take charge.

Customer:

I agree :). I am divorced, and my daughter only stay with me on weekends, so it makes more difficult...sadly I am not the boss right now.

Dr. Keane :

Don't give her 30 minutes, that is too drastic a change. If she is on say five hours a day , then tell her she can be on a total of three for her friends and if it's for schoolwork that can be separate.

Dr. Keane :

Can you talk to your ex-husband and get him to agree to a plan?

Dr. Keane :

Sorry, I am assuming she is with him, whoever she is with at this time, can you talk to them?

Customer:

whole day was some weekends, not during the week, she did do her homework after school. Yes, I can talk.

Customer:

she does her homework only, not willing to study extra, like online math programs I subscribed for her. can kids do well without studying extra?

Dr. Keane :

I would first of all take her out of the house at least for one day of her visit (I know that is hard on you) get her away and do something together. I would ask that the rules for computer use be put in place. She may be doing this when she is with you because she can't at home. I would have basic rules, once they are in place that will dictate if she gets "extra" time .

Customer:

thanks good idea. we did try to set time, but stopped as she was upset. but should try harder

Dr. Keane :

I am "older", have raised 4 children and see a lot of stressed out kids in my practice. I believe there is way too much pressure on them . If her grades are good (not perfect) and she "gets" the concept in the math she is studying there is no need (in my opinion) to do extra work, why? if she gets it, she gets it. I also feel that if she is struggling in some area that she know she can get help at school.

Dr. Keane :

You would also benefit from having rules that have been "discussed" by all of you so everyone in both homes knows what is allowed and expected. I

Customer:

sure, sounds good. :)

Dr. Keane :

She is going to be upset a bit, after all you are not allowing her to "do what she wants" when kids get to this age they don't want parenting, but they need it. I have a good book .....too you can buy online. works like a charm and helps you and your teen negotiate

Customer:

yes? what's the book title?

Dr. Keane :

Called Surviving your Adolescent by Thomas Phelan, I keep copies in my office and give them to parents....it is my "bible" for teens

Customer:

wonderful, i want to learn more

Customer:

will buy that book

Customer:

what if a 12 yro likes and boy and maybe make a boyfriend alike...which i think is too early, it worries me

Dr. Keane :

You can have wonderful experience with a teenager, just remember they are becoming their "own" person so validate what she is saying, even if you don't agree, let her know you hear her. Let her make mistakes, don't save her . that is how they learn and most of all, never punish.....it is a give and take, the book will tell you how..

Customer:

great, thanks

Customer:

should a 12 yro allowed to have boyfriend, if that happens?

Dr. Keane :

Well kids are becoming more sexual earlier but, that doesn't mean just because she has a boyfriend that will happen, again if you teach her to respect herself and her sex esteem is good then she isn't going to just jump in because kids do. She again needs to be taught (not lectured about diseases, pregnancy etc)

Customer:

i find it hard to discuss, as whenever i start to mention, she gets upset and stopped talking to me

Dr. Keane :

So yes, you can't stop her from liking or having a boyfriend, but you can have "rules" that you all discuss and agree on. Such as: if he came over to visit, what "rooms" is she allowed to have him in. Some parents have no problem with kids hanging out in the bedroom and some absolutely not.

Customer:

i think she only chats over the net, never would she be allowed to bring any boy home.

Dr. Keane :

She will do that, it is a normal reaction. She doesn't want to talk to her mother. So get her out, to a restaurant or in the car (great place to have chats, they can't leave!) Have a sit down with her dad and you. Teach her, don't lecture.

Customer:

sure.

Dr. Keane :

okay, then make sure that the chats are not being hidden, I don't mean sit over her shoulder, she deserves privacy but

Customer:

not being hidden?

Dr. Keane :

you don't want her to fall into the sending videos of herself etc. Kids don't get how dangerous that can be (don't mean to scare you). Once it is on the internet it is on the internet.

Customer:

that i know of

Dr. Keane :

Not being hidden, in other words when she is texting is she purposely hiding from you? or is she just texting.

Customer:

she is always hidding, when i asked her who's she chatting to, she's always hiding

Customer:

make me more worried what she's doing

Dr. Keane :

ok, all kids want privacy, she is 12. When you do your "rules" one of them should be that although you do not care if she is chatting with a boy you have the responsibility to keep her safe.

Customer:

once i found she was chatting to girls and a boy

Dr. Keane :

that's okay,

Dr. Keane :

she is normal, this chatting is the new "phone"

Dr. Keane :

texting is all most kids do.....

Customer:

it is

Customer:

yes

Customer:

but hard to make rules on chat, except for making the net time limited..

Customer:

thank you so much for your advice, i feel so much better now

Dr. Keane :

When you have her alone tell her you are curious, that this texting thing is so different from what you knew and even 5 years ago how kids communicated, ask for her imput , her explanation about texting and you may just start a discussion, or she may give you one work answers. Once she sees you are really interested and not just being a prison guard! she will talk. Promise her that you will never repeat anything she tells you and that no matter what you want her to trust you. She will if you don't preach.

Customer:

sounds good :)

Dr. Keane :

Please accept so I get credit for my response. Good luck, not easy today. Read the book, makes sense and use humor.

Customer:

thanks very much, will surely do!

Dr. Keane :

oh, have the rules written out together and be ready to negotiate, it's give and take.

Customer:

ok, will try that too. thanks!

Dr. Keane, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1699
Experience: Parenting Workshops, Teacher, PHD Clinical Psychology, 30 yrs. Exp. 4 Children
Dr. Keane and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you

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