A Tween Play Date With Skype

It used to be that I knew when one of the kids had a friend in the house.  Permission was needed.  If I am to be responsible for someone else's baby and I want to know about it.

I am often just fine with the kids having friends over.  This usually happens on the weekends but, once in a while, a friend will come over after school for a play before dinner.  There are times, however, when I just don't feel like having another child in the house...when I want it to just be us.

You can imagine my surprise, when late one weekday evening, I heard friends' voices in the family room.  I was wandering around in my no-one-is-going-to-see-me clothes, trying to get bedtime moving along when I heard tween girls laughing away.  It is a lovely sound to hear your children laugh but I was confused as to who was over.  My child-tallying radar was failing me.  Too many voices for my headcount.

As I rounded the corner to the family room, I quickly discerned that Maggie was talking to the computer.  Well...not the computer exactly...she was talking to her friends on Skype via the computer.   (Yes, we aren't supposed to be using electronics during the week but Mags is a really good student and a good kid in general so I do cave now and then....getting her homework done and reading are not things we worry about with her.)

Skype.  So this is how it is going to go down, is it?  When I entered my teen years, my parents put a phone jack in my room and I would chat away to my hearts' content with my girl friends.  If something was going on in the house while I was on the phone, it was merely a muffled sound in the background.  Now with Skype, I realize I must be more careful.  Maggie's friends can get a glimpse of all that is going on in our house (and what horrible outfit I am sporting).  Depending where her friends are sitting with their own computers, their families could get a play-by-play of me trying to get all of my kids to bed...not always a pretty site (sometimes it is...but not always :).    I realize that the kids are supposed to use the computers where we can see them so I think I will start asking for a heads-up when Skype is on in the house.  

Be forewarned other parents of tweens.  You think you know who is in your house...but do you?


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