Parenting 101: Your Child’s First Blog

I started blogging in September, 2007 and have been blogging every weekday for about a year now.  So it shouldn’t have been a surprise to me when my youngest daughter, who is in first grade, stated that “she wants a blog, too!”

Naturally, my knee-jerk reaction to this idea was “no way, little dudette!”  This is how I initially handle all tricky parenting dilemmas…or any new idea. It buys me time to think through things, and then makes me seem generous to the kids when I decide they CAN do what they asked.  Dr. Spock, eat your heart out!  So, once I counted to ten, and thought about it just a little bit more, I thought “why not?”

It seems clear that social media is here to stay, and this is probably something that we should be able to teach our children how to safely do. Chances are, if you have teens, they could run little social media circles around you, so when I’m talking about “Your Child’s First Blog”, I’m thinking of the younger children.

For my daughter,  the installation of a large white-board in her bedroom is what really got her interested in writing words and numbers. Now, she writes us notes all of the time…mostly “telling on” her older sister, but that’s a topic for a real parenting blog, and I already told you my number one parenting technique!  However, this did get me thinking about what types of benefits my daughter might gain from blogging.

One of the key benefits is that she would be making use of written language outside of school exercises. It’s so easy for kids to think of writing just as “something that is done in school.” If we are interested in getting our kids to use writing for anything more than shopping lists, blogging is one outlet that doesn’t require a publishing deal! 

Another benefit is that your child will be learning how to actively use computer technologies to create something new or present an idea.  I’m always looking for ways to encourage my children to create, and blogging is another wonderful creative outlet.

Finally, if your child is like my child, a HUGE positive benefit of them spending time blogging is that blogging does not create a mess! 

Obviously, if your first grader is starting a blog, this is going to require some help from mom and dad.  Here’s where you get another chance to shine as a parent and help your youngster learn how to safely operate in the online world.  You will certainly want to control what type of personal information your child shares.  Full name, where they live, what school they go to, etc. is all information you’ll probably want them to withhold.  While I wouldn’t go so far as to prohibit the posting of pictures, you’ll want to carefully screen their photos for the same type of information in the picture (often the background) that might not be obvious to your child.

As your child gets older, you will not need to spend as much time developing online material with your child, but it will remain important for you to monitor their posts as well as the comments they receive. 

Some blogging services offer password protection for blogs, either as a native part of the blog, or as a plug-in.  You may consider the investment in a blogging service that offers this type of security to be worth the expense.  I blog on Typepad, which does not offer free blogs, but DOES allow you to password protect your blog.  A password protected blog will allow your child to get their feet wet with blogging and social media while only allowing friends and family to view the blog.

This summer, my wife plans on working on a blog with my daughter. I’ll keep you updated on any insights gained from this experience!

Written by: Gregg Mueller

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2 Responses to “Parenting 101: Your Child’s First Blog”

  1. Giselle Says:

    Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

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  2. Thanks for some outstanding input, Gregg. I’m very jealous of the creative spirit of your daughter and I look forward to my daughter growing older to take on that same trait in her own writings that she can treasure not only as she grows older, but can be truly appreciated by ME as she grows to adulthood.

    Have a great evening and thanks for chiming in!

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