Parenting Pains asks: "I've got two teenagers, whose peer group have 'discovered' the Internet over the course of this year. We've gone from two bright happy lively teenagers at the start of the year, to now having two people who rarely venture outdoors except under duress and are close to unbearable unless they're ensconced online with 'friends' on MSN for hours at a time. Over recent months, this has gone from mildly amusing to out of hand, with them spending up to 10-12 hours a day on weekends online with friends. Many Slashdot readers must have confronted this situation; how have you dealt with it, and what were the outcomes of what you did? Do you just let the kids stay online till they got sick of it, and how long did it take? Do you ban them from using MSN? Do you limit the number of hours they can be online?""When they're not online, they're grumpy, demanding, constantly nagging, etc. (i.e. normal teenagers) - frankly it's easier for us when they are online, but not for that many hours at a sitting.
We made a decision up front to trust their judgement and not monitor who they talk to and what they talk about, but I'm starting to question the wisdom of this right about now. Not for any specific reason; there's just a little nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me there's something wrong with this."