The internet can be a very scary place, but it can also be a land of great opportunity and education. If your child is thinking of blogging for fun or profit, this article is sure to lend you a little piece of mind before they start. As a very protective parent myself, I can assure you the decision for your child to start blogging is definitely one I do not take lightly. There are many risks and so much time and effort that will take up their time should they make the move. On the other hand, I myself am a blogger and I know that it can be a very rewarding experience when done right and would greatly improve their writing and social skills for the future.
Here are a few things to consider, and hopefully make your decision a little easier when your child comes to you with their big idea to start a blog.
Blog/Vlog/Private or Public
Gone are the days when blogs were considered online diaries for the entire social world to read. Today children have options in terms of keeping their thoughts private or shared with a handful of people or the masses. I would recommend you talk to them first about what their intentions are and how they want to fullfill them through a personal blogging platform. If your child hates to write and loves the camera, a vlog may be the best choice for their personality. Vlog’s are a great outlet for little actors but demand a lot of time and attention along with them. Whether writing or filming the audience of such a blog must be determined before they start on their journey.
Think about the risks
Even with very strict privacy settings, a blogger is always at risk of personal invasion. When your child determines the platform they will use to start their blog, thoroughly go through the settings and make sure that they are not releasing too much information to the general public. I always tell my children to keep in mind their location, imagery, and name choices when online. It’s best to have an alias and post after they have visited a very known location to ensure safety is always first priority.
As well, discuss with your children whether or not your entire family/home-life will be on camera or displayed in photos online – if this is something you personally do not want be sure to let them know. Passwords and login information should also always be left for a parent to screen. These tips are useful even outside the blogging world, should be taken into consideration should your child want to enter the realm of social media at large.
Set boundaries/time constraints
Yes, blogging can be time consuming, but it also shouldn’t interfere with the childs personal life or educational and home-life commitments. A clear set of rules should be set before the blogging starts to ensure that your child has time set aside for their priories. Teach them that the world does not revolve around the internet and like a job they must keep school work, and chores up if they want to continue on with it.
Like any job, blogging can become more work than play and that is not the type of experience you want for your littles. Whenever possible, take the reign and keep up with emails/screening and messages for them so that they can focus on writing and content. Make a family effort to support the cause – that way everyone takes a piece instead of the whole cake. This will make a great working relationship and open the lines of communication for your children too.
This exciting journey will be a lifelong attempt to create something everyone involved can enjoy. Self expression and insight into the wonderful world of technology will give your children the opportunity to prepare for the future of social media and their overall presence online – perhaps even set them up for a world that’s already waiting for them.
Protect your children while allowing them to florish and grow is essential if they are considering a future in blogging and/or vlogging.