Young bloggers are getting younger by the minute. Kids love writing because they get recognition and approval from audience, and this reward cannot be beaten. Blogs are very useful because kids learn to use good spelling and grammar. Blogging helps bring out the writer in the child. Blogging on a regular basis is a way to teach responsibility and discipline. It is a good way to improve editing and typing, to learn about the latest Internet technologies and to communicate with friends and relatives who live far away. There are many benefits, indeed.
As always, there are risks too. The notion of a teen without a Facebook profile and Twitter is hard to comprehend. Parents cannot control Internet use the way they have authority over whom their kid goes out with and where he/ she hangs out.
Truly, blogging sites do not allow access to kids under 13. But, of course, it is easy to get around this by just lying about your age. If your kid wants to blog, there is little you can do to change that apart from giving them advice about it. Good advice includes: do not post anything before I read it and don’t give out any personal information whatsoever, not even your first name.
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Additionally, it would be good to moderate all comments through a parent’s e-mail. You can also modify their blog settings to friends and family only, meaning that only friends and relatives will have access to their blog. Then again, you can’t control whom they call a “friend”. It is often the case that when you walk into their room, they shut the laptop or switch computer screens.
Children are young and inexperienced. Some girls think it is cool to post revealing photos of themselves along with their phone numbers and the towns they come from. They do not realize that they could attract any number of sickos out there. This gives grounds for being totalitarian, does it not? Don’t go panicking now.
Depriving them of time alone and a computer is not a good solution, if you’ve heard of the forbidden fruit. The fact is that half of all blogs are written by teens. They give out far too much personal information. They do not realize the ramifications of the whole world reading it. There is a lot of competition in this aspect, what with the amazing number of kid blogs out there (six million and counting).
Everybody is trying to outdo one another, to be more interesting and provocative and get more visitors. Real safety is not an important issue to them, and to some, it is no issue. One thing kids love about blogging is that it seems safe, so they do things and say things online that they wouldn’t in real life.
Parents should encourage their offspring to get out more. Even financially, if it comes to that, as in, “I will double your allowance if you pick up some kind of sport.” Being physically healthy is the most important thing for a person growing up, because unhealthy habits formed in adolescence can take many years to overcome.
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