The Internet is a vast resource filled with tools for learning and development that no wise parent would forego. But it is also a place brimming with danger and parents need to know how to navigate their child’s use of the Internet so as to avoid the worst of the web.
As your child ages and undertakes increasingly more engaged Internet activity, parents need to change their strategies to monitor for this. Aside from popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, there are also a variety of blogging communities that attract huge numbers of teens.
Blogging, for those that may not be aware, consists of writing or filming journal-like essays and then sharing them with your friends or a larger community. Often these sites will let users choose their level of privacy, and, especially in the beginning, this is often a good idea. Keeping your child’s content limited to select audience avoids a lot of the worst aspects of the Internet.
Why should you let your child write a blog? There are a ton of benefits to blogging, aside from filming or writing your own content, kids also learn how to use technology that requires novel skills and abilities. Editing a video or researching a blog post could require some research or self-instruction, skills that will benefit any future job applicant or college student. Also, as their audience expands, your child will learn some savvy marketing skills to promote their work. In most every regard, this situation is a win-win for both parents and teens as long as it is approached judiciously.
Here is some advice on how to insure your teen’s blogging experience is as trouble-free and educational as possible:
First, educate yourself about the various blogging services out there, what they do, who their audience is, how they post and promote content, and why people are attracted to that platform. Answering these questions will not only help you decide whether it is appropriate for your child to be on that platform but also give you some idea about the wider environment out there. Knowledge is power, and in this case it really can give a parent an advantage if their teen ever broaches the subject.
The second piece of advice for parents of teens who are interested in blogging is to sit down with your child and plan out their new venture. Take this collaborative opportunity as a chance to make memories but also to show your teen how important it is to plan any new venture. What kind of things will the blog feature and who is it for, are some questions you can both mull over. Coming up with content schedules or locking down a design are other aspects parents can work with teens to finalize - the goal being involvement and input.
And third, set firm rules concerning privacy and use of the blog. Do you want your child using their real name, or a moniker? How much information are you comfortable with your child revealing online? You need to determine these things before proceeding. Prepare for some pushback, but know that you have your child’s safety and best interests at heart. The Internet is a vast place and not everyone has good intentions.
Considering platforms for blog hosting? WordPress is one of the most popular platforms available and with wpsolr possesses some of the most powerful filtered-search technology available. If you want an easy-to-use platform that is hugely popular, WordPress might be the content management system for your teen’s blog.