Managing Internet Access

My wife and I have three daughters. All of their names start with e, so I’ll refer to them as E1, E2, and E3. E1 is the oldest, and is almost too clever for her own good. Given a chance, she would stay up all night watching something on Netflix (or Hulu, Youtube, etc.) This makes for a very crabby pre-teen, especially when she has to get up by 5:30AM in order to have enough time to get out to her bus stop by 6:49AM. Even though I’m a huge fan of most Apple gear, and I have had Airport base stations in the past, I’m also a big fan of dd-wrt and when it was time to add 802.11n, I chose the Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH2 which has worked well for me.

Part of my solution has been to set Access Restrictions:

  1. I added the MAC addresses to the list of clients 
  2. I created 2 policies – School Nights and School Mornings
  3. School Nights is active Sunday – Thursday from 9:30PM – 11:59PM
  4. School Mornings is active Monday – Friday from 12:00AM – 6:30AM

This seems to do the trick. We still allow her to listen to audible, or read from the iPad at bed time, but she can’t stream video at all. We currently leave it wide open on weekends, and will relax this if there is no school. It’s not 100%. I’d really like to see something like what Amazon offers with the Kindle Fire HD (FreeTime?) to restrict the amount of time the device can be used.

If anyone has any additional tips or suggestions, I’d love to see them in the comments!

Finding time.

One of the hardest things to deal with is finding time to spend on hobbies. This gets even harder if you have more than one hobby, especially if one of them is gaming. I tend to be obsessive / compulsive when it comes to hobbies and other interests. When I start to get excited about something, I live and breath it. I think that if you know this about yourself, you can tone it down. Not that you don’t obsess over whatever it is, but that you do it to a lesser extent.
Toning down your obsessions can go a long way to balancing your life. For me, I split things into two piles:

  1. The things I have to do (work, getting the kids to school, laundry, cooking, lawn maintenance, etc,)
  2. The things you want to do (playing with the kids, gaming, practicing an instrument, surfing the web, etc.)

Once you have these sorted (mentally,) you just have to work through pile #1, and after that you can pick and choose from pile #2.

First Post!

Welcome to techniDad!

First off, a brief note about me. I’m a happily married father of two (both girls), and I would call myself a technology enthusiast. I’ve been into video games and computers for as long as I can remember. In my younger years, it was an Intellivision and Apple //c. These days it’s an Xbox 360 and a MacBook Pro.

My “plan” for techniDad is to post / discuss issues related to being a tech junkie with a growing family. I want to talk about playing games with and without your kids. I’d also like to review games and gadgets from the perspective of a busy dad working in the construct of raising two young children, and taking part in their activities.

If you have any suggestions, or requests, please contact me via email technidad AT me DOT com.