Domains Beat Diaries – Why You Should Let Your Kids Blog

Forget the diary -- buy a domain instead and let your kids blog!

Wondering whether or not you should let your kids blog? You’re not alone. Many parents struggle to weigh the benefits of blogging against fears for the safety and privacy of their children. While these are very real concerns, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that the positive effects of blogging far outweigh the negative. Yes, we’re telling you to let your kid blog their heart out. Here are seven reasons why:

1. Finding a Passion. If your child’s only exposure to writing comes from English class essays, it’s no wonder they don’t look at writing as a thrill. Give them an open platform to help make learning fun, however, and they might just discover they have a passion – for poetry, for fiction or even political commentary.

2. Writing for an Audience. A private diary can be a great way to vent about unfair teachers and bratty siblings, but blogging teaches kids how to do something that a diary can’t – how to write for an audience. That simple change brings with it a world of learning opportunities, from understanding voice and tone to crafting compelling images or themes.

3. Creating Community. Even with a solid group of friends, many kids still have ideas or interests that don’t always jive with their peers. Through blogging, kids can connect with others who share their love of Korean pop music, crocheting, comic books and everything in between.

4. Digital Citizenship. As adults, we know that what we put out into the world reflects back on us. It’s a lesson that many children learn the hard way, but blogging can help. When kids blog, they learn to be responsible for their images, words and ideas – especially if they know their parents are avid readers of their site. 

5. A Padded Portfolio. It’s never too early to start thinking about college. Even if your child is in elementary school, the skills they learn while blogging can open doors to a world of possibilities, from editing the school newspaper to writing college entry essays.

6. Research Skills. Learning to discern trusted sources from less-than-expert “experts” is a skill some people never master. They buy shady insurance policies, adopt absurd fad diets, and it’s all because they have trouble understanding exactly what makes a trusted source trustworthy. When kids blog, they learn to sift through information and identify quality sources of information – a skill that will serve them well in school and out.

7. Connect to Family. There’s an entire side of your child you don’t see – a world of thinking and experience that happens when you aren’t around. Blogging can give kids a place to discuss their thoughts and feelings, and to address topics they might be too shy to broach at the dinner table. Family members who live across the country can also read the blog to stay in the loop.

As with any internet activity, blogging requires some level of supervision. By telling you we think you should let your kids blog, we aren’t recommending you undo all your firewalls, hand over your laptop and allow little Jimmy to fly solo to the furthest reaches of the internet. What we are recommending is that you play an active role. Offer support, offer encouragement, but promise you’ll try to dial it back when it comes to using emoticons in the commenting section. Remember, even the most promising young journalists can still be embarrassed by mom. 

Published August 06, 2012