My girls recently got their own computer stations. Their computer are many years old, but they don't notice. They can watch their math lesson DVD and they play PBS kids games. Since this is so new to them, they need help not loosing track of how much time they have wasted in front of the screen.
I am hoping they level out on their own and they do seem to be doing better about not getting sucked in completely. In the meantime, I typed up a horribly simplistic chart for earning and spending their time.
They can earn time by doing school work, happily. They can also earn time by cleaning up their spaces. This one is very simple to catch on to. I won't even talk to them about computer time unless the toys and games are all put away first.
I set a kitchen timer for them so they are learning what 15 mins feels like. I doubt I will have to use the chart for long, since today they have not even asked about the computer. (xbox instead, which is harder to get trapped in for them.)
My 4 year old is learning her way around a computer. They 6 yr old offers help, albeit loudly (headphones.) My 4 year old is good with a mouse now and doesn't need too much help. I think she needs a trackball though. The corded mouse is a little short for her.
Ginger, my 6 year old, needs to stop being so smart. She created a login and password for one of her game sites yesterday. When I noticed, we had a conversation about what information not to tell the computer. We will likely have this conversation many more times. Of course, Kevin and I have this conversation with a lot of people.
Our mantra: "Do not put it on the internet unless you want EVERYONE to know about it." Stalkers, pedophiles, enemies, best friends who might one day become enemies, your neighbors, politicians, clients, grandmothers, the boy you used to date, but then you broke his heart, the first girl you kissed. If you put it on the internet your future employers will find it. (Seriously, I know a man who searches for you on the internet after he gets your resume but before he calls you for an interview. This is the new norm.)
Anyway, this is not my soapbox, this is about my cookies. So far, anything on the internet about my cookies is all my fault and I plan to keep it that way for now. And I will drill it into their heads for future use.
There had better never be drunk pictures of my kids on the internet, and I WILL be looking for them.