twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Blah, Blah, Blog

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This
Erik Fisher, Ph.D.: These days, it seems like everyone's got their own blog. Whether you're a professional, a celebrity wannabe or a teenager seeking an identity, blogging is supposed to be the next great way to get noticed. But what if you're a parent? You certainly didn't grow up with blogs, and naturally you may have some questions about your child's involvement in this new medium.

woman using computer
As a family psychologist, I get questions about this a lot. For a preteen or teenager going through life's normal growth stages, blogging can be very helpful indeed -- it can foster a social network (even if it is virtual) and provide an outlet for everyday frustrations. But as with any Internet enterprise, blogging does raise some parental concerns. So let's address some basic blogging pros and cons.

CONS
1) The "Me" Attitude: It's an understatement to say that reality TV has given us an insider view into the lives of many. We grant "everyday" people unnatural amounts of attention when we tune in each week. Does your child want to be in the spotlight?The idea that millions of people may be logging on to read what he or she has written can create a heightened sense of self-importance. What I have noticed in a fair amount of the kids today is that they have an increased sense of entitlement and tend to act arrogantly, feeling that they are above others. If this is an issue with your child, recognize that a sense of entitlement can be replaced with healthy self-respect. Examine your own behavior and talk to your child about his or her attitude. You may find that your child's grandstanding blog is simply compensating for other areas in life where he or she feels very insecure.

2) Cyberbullying: Blogs can become havens for Internet bullies. It's easier to be really nasty on the other side of a computer screen than in real life, and kids may blog to demean or humiliate others. Whether your child is an Internet bully or the victim of one, address the issue immediately. Make sure your child understands the wisdom of respecting other people, even if he or she doesn't feel respected by what somebody has done to them.

3) Misinformation: While some blogs can be educational or informative, many times their accuracy isn't checked. Children often don't know how to discern between what is opinion and what is fact, and it may be easy for them to be swayed by the content of inaccurate blogs. The more you maintain open communication with your kids, the more likely they are to talk to you if they have a question about something they've read. And remember, you can always ask them what they have been learning from blogs. If necessary, gently ask for the sources of their information, and help them understand the difference between facts that are backed up by reliable sources and those that are not.

4) Online Predators: Blogs provide questionable people with the ability to connect with kids. Often, it's not easy to find out who's writing these blogs, and therefore one cannot be sure of the individuals' motivations. While I would not want you to live in fear of what your kids are seeing and who they are talking to, it is prudent to take a look at their online community. Give them some privacy, but know that they also need guidance and supervision in discerning who may be safe and unsafe to talk to.

PROS
1) The Art of "Blogger-sation": Blogs can be extremely useful in increasing your child's writing ability. In school, your kids may not feel comfortable expressing themselves, but blogs can be a very liberating format for written self-expression. Do know, however, that blogs can also be used as a tool to avoid face-to-face communication. The more that we rely on communicating through computers, the more we risk decreasing our ability to interact with others directly in relationships. So encourage your kids to write, but also encourage them to talk to you and others face to face.

2) Establishing Independence: Teens and kids react against controls, and blogging may be a way to assert their independence. Many teens are seeking places on the Internet with fewer rules and regulations. Despite the best Internet safeguards you put into place, some kids will rebel. Realize that you can either contribute to this environment of control, or help change the way they view themselves and society. Become a better guide to your kids, and less of a boss. Encouraging them to be responsible bloggers is a great step. Rather than tell your children what they can or can't do on a blog, help them see all that the written word is capable of (they can use it to relax, express their creativity, release frustration, etc.).

3) Teachable Moments: As a parent, you can use the blogging experience as a teaching and talking point. Take a look at some of the blogs out there with your kids. Look at informational blogs, educational blogs and even the less "productive" blogs -- i.e., personal rants. Talk about these with your kids and help them understand the ins and outs of productive communication.

4) Join Forces: If you blog yourself, allow your child to take a look at what you write. This will help you become a model for Internet accountability. Be willing to live by the same rules you ask your kids to live by. I will never forget the parent whose MySpace page said he was single and had no kids, when in fact he was married with children -- and his kids had profiles on MySpace also! It would have been very easy for the children to find their parent's page .... If you demonstrate poor judgment, you have very little room when guiding your child's behaviors. So become a better blogger, and watch your child follow your lead.

While Internet blogging is still in its infancy, it's safe to say it's here to stay. So if and when your child explores blogging, be proactive and get educated. The more you know about this medium, the better you can guide your child to make safe choices.

Erik Fisher, Ph.D. (a.k.a. Dr. E.), is a licensed psychologist and author who has been featured on NBC, CBS, FOX and CNN. Visit him at www.ErikFisher.com to learn more about his books "The Art of Empowered Parenting" and "The Art of Managing Everyday Conflict," or to check out his blog.


next: Chelsea and Marc: Celebrating Interfaith Families
167 comments so far | Post a comment now
battlefield 3 March 25, 2011, 8:39 AM

I think this is one of the most important info for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The site style is perfect, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

Tayse Kashmir Rug 4063 Black March 25, 2011, 11:34 AM

It seems to me that this web site doesnt load up in a Motorola Droid. Are other people getting the same problem? I like this site and dont want to have to skip it when Im away from my computer.

Rob Rasner Facebook March 25, 2011, 8:59 PM

I started out only two or 3 a day, and before we understood it I was around 6 every day. Moreover whats the latest on Gaddafi notable information what does one reckon .

simple golf swing March 26, 2011, 3:30 AM

I was studying some of your posts on this internet site and I believe this website is really instructive! Keep on putting up.

klebeband bedruckt March 26, 2011, 10:46 AM

I have recently started a site, the information you offer on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

steel plate March 26, 2011, 2:20 PM

You have mentioned very interesting points ! ps nice site.

filme online March 26, 2011, 4:29 PM

I’ve been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

justin bieber naked March 26, 2011, 6:20 PM

I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, The web site style is great, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

p90x schedule  March 26, 2011, 6:51 PM

Wow, It’s truly amazing info. You need to take a present for it.

acid reflux March 26, 2011, 11:06 PM

Just wasting some time on Digg and I found your article . Not typically what I prefer to read about, but it was certainly worth my time. Thanks.

tmj treatment March 27, 2011, 6:08 AM

Its great as your other content :D, appreciate it for putting up.

kindle dx cheap March 27, 2011, 6:32 AM

I believe that is exciting and do not see posted usually. This can be fantastic details.

Exercise during pregnancy March 27, 2011, 8:49 AM

Hello There. I discovered your weblog using msn. This is a really neatly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely comeback.

gadget forum March 27, 2011, 12:02 PM

You’r story helped me a lot, god bless you for that, I’m going to save it, bookmarking that post at the moment:)

Aspen Vacation Rental Home March 27, 2011, 1:12 PM

Could you message me with a few hints & tips on how you made this site look this awesome, I would be thankful!

acne treatment proactiv March 27, 2011, 4:24 PM

I’m impressed, I need to say. Actually not often do I encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you could have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is excellent; the problem is one thing that not enough individuals are talking intelligently about. I am very glad that I stumbled throughout this in my seek for something regarding this.

tattoo equipment March 28, 2011, 8:58 AM

Great job here. I really enjoyed what you had to say.

tattoo kits March 28, 2011, 2:14 PM

wow this looks definitely great do you mind if i share this?

diet March 28, 2011, 2:40 PM

Hi, The above content articles is quite impressive,

vimax March 28, 2011, 5:35 PM

Thank you for another essential article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a complete way of writing? I have a presentation incoming week, and I am on the lookout for such information.


Leave a reply:



(not displayed)

     




Avoid clicking "Post" more than once
Back to top >>
advertisement