So if you want your child to share their thoughts online via a blog, make sure some rules are established before your child gets started. Here are some suggestions:
- Your child should not use their full name, address, school name, personal photos, etc, online so they cannot be personally identified.
- The blog should be password protected so that only people your child knows can view it.
- Screen the content before it goes up online and discuss with your child why something may not be suitable to post.
- Be sure you also have access to this blog on a regular basis so you are aware of the responses coming in just as much as what is going out.
My best suggestion is to make your child’s blog a shared experience for the family rather than leaving your child to blog on their own. Keeping open lines of communication with your child and being sure you are monitoring their online activity is the best way to make blogging a safe and fun activity.
Hopefully, these tips will be saved in your memory bank, and that of your child, if and when they want to start their own online blog.
Lewis First, M.D., is chief of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital at the University of Vermont Medical Center and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Larner College of Medicine at UVM. You can also catch “First with Kids” weekly on WOKO 98.9 FM and WCAX-TV Channel 3. Visit the First with Kids video archives at www.uvmhealth.org/FirstWithKids.