Should Children Be Encouraged To Blog?

In times when everyone, their aunt, niece and cousin by marriage is a blogger, I often get the question, should children be encouraged to blog? This is usually in response to the information that my 15-year old son blogs, and has been for more than eight years now.

Should Children Be Encouraged To Blog? - Benefits Of Blogging For Kids

Our family is big on the three R’s – reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. I wrote a diary as a child during my teen years. My Mom would insist I wrote about every little trip, regardless of how short or long the duration was.

Setting up a blog is easier than ABC today and I’ve come across a number of amazing children bloggers who are not only consistent, but very good writers. The ability to articulate and have opinions is a plus point. When my son set up his first blog I was thrilled that this little guy could understand the platform so quickly. What amazed me was the focus with which he did it. Then he set up his next two blogs in the span of a month, which was not such a brilliant idea. I talked to him about it and he understood the logic behind not spreading himself too thin.

Here are some of my reasons for encouraging my son to blog, or the benefits of blogging for children:

  • Improved grammar and sentence formation
  • Gave structure to his writing
  • Motivated him to read more
  • Great writing practice without the pressure of being graded (except by his parents)
  • Helped him explore different forms of writing – poetry, reviews, dialog, essays.
  • Better planning, especially while writing a series or multi-part post
  • Enhanced his vocabulary
  • Made him more articulate
  • Became better at expressing himself
  • Better performance at school
  • Be more disciplined, as in sticking to a schedule
  • Better planning – he actually had an editorial calendar
  • Made him a good book reviewer
  • Motivated him to learn to read and write our mother tongue, Tamil on his own
  • Kept him occupied
  • Made him a good letter/email writer
  • Improved his summary and précis writing ability

Blogging, at its core is essentially journaling or diary-writing as we knew it. It is amazing to write regularly and go back and read what you’ve written.  I also insisted that my son maintain a diary where he had to fill in three columns every day:

  • Chores done
  • One Act of Kindness
  • Three things that made him happy

It fills my heart to read his journals now. Since he has other hobbies like music which requires dedicated practice and sketching, which takes hours of his time, besides reading, he no longer maintains the journal but there is something else he continues to do – which is maintaining our Happiness Jar.  More about this in another post.

A word of caution, though. We know that the Internet can be a big bad place, so here are some things I did. Explained to my son that he must:

  • Never chat with anyone online
  • Never email anyone without our supervision
  • Never give out personal information (and explained what that is)
  • Always show the draft/post preview before publishing the post
  • Always keep us informed of his online activities

We considered keeping the blog private, but decided against that since we monitor it anyway. We also made use of privacy settings in the browser and computer. Finally, we ensured that our hand was always available to hold when he needed it.

Yes, I think children must be encouraged to blog. What do you think? I would love to hear in the comments!

Vidya Sury is a happy work-at-home Mom, freelance writer, business blogger, aspiring author and social media explorer. She takes one day at a time and enjoys sharing what she learns. She loves coffee, books, music, cooking, DIY, people and life. Her hobbies are collecting smiles and inspiring happiness. She hopes to find the cure for infobesity. She blogs at Vidya Sury, Coffee With Mi and Your Medical Guide and tweets as @vidyasury

  • Loved your post. Informative and insightful. Frankly, I have not given a thought to that yet but I agree with all your thoughts. As grown ups, blogging has given me so much clarity and perspective in writing, I think it is a great way to express oneself. Of course, boundaries need to be defined. We cannot keep our kids away from technology. We should accept it as a way of life, without making a big deal about it and without allowing it to take over our lives. So, I am beginning to think that it should be OK and in fact fruitful for kids. But I am eager to hear out what are the concerns about allowing to do so.
    However, I get very restless finding kids on Facebook. My personal opinion completely.

    • Reema, you are absolutely justified about worrying about Facebook. The problem is the lack of privacy and children, in their enthusiasm can say more than they intend to. It is definitely a scary prospect, even if their school Principal and some teachers are there.

      My way of handling it is to communicate and encourage him to talk about every thing. So far, so good.

      Thank you for your comment!

  • “I also insisted that my son maintain a diary where he had to fill in three columns every day:
    Chores done
    One Act of Kindness
    Three things that made him happy” – I can’t wait to start this with my son. I agree, blogging carries within it’s folds many benefits – from developing language skills to making us think in the language that we are most comfortable in, Expression, communication, imagination, all come together to perhaps make the child understand his own mind too as he writes a journal to be read, by his parents initially. And all that, without the pressure of grades, as you rightly say. I’m all for children embracing technology when they understand the darker side of the moon, as they enjoy the brighter one. Your ‘words of caution’ is a wonderfully articulated list. This article made things a lot easier for me. 🙂 Thank you.

    • Thank you Sakshi! Did you start it with your son? (I took long enough to reply here :D) The great thing is – it helps them in many aspects related to school projects. Best thing – they love reading what they wrote and feel good. 🙂

  • Excellent move Vidya! As you so rightly point out, what is blogging except keeping an online diary? Just because it is technology-driven, we need not stop our children from blogging – they are simply doing what many of us did growing up, albeit on a different platform.

    And the advantage of blogging is that children can now share their writing and thoughts easily with others – their peer group – inviting suggestions, ideas, debate and even criticism of their opinions and writing styles.

    Blogging can bring benefits from two main angles – improving writing skills, which I find is sadly lacking in many children today, and encouraging creativity and expression.

    And if you are monitoring the whole exercise, nothing could be better!

    Kritika Srinivasan

    • Hi Kritika! Monitoring is the key. In a very loving way. We do care about knowing what he is up to…and along the way, I have learned a lot of things I barely knew. 🙂 It is a happy two-way interaction.

      Thank you for your comment!

  • Hi Vidya: Your post strikes a chord with our family, as we debate with our elder one on opening her email and facebook a/c etc ( she is only 11). the blog could be logical next step. You make very strong point about improving language skills with blogging.

    • It is true, Prasad. Everything is good as long as she understands the “rules” 🙂 Children really are more understanding than we give them credit for.

      I found that rather than stand nearby looking over his shoulder, it was a good idea to discuss what he was doing, giving him a chance to also talk about it. Funny – he never got hooked to games.

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Awesome to know that your son has been blogging for quite a while now. Just like all the other commenters have stated, I also believe that it will surely enhance his creativity, imagination and his writing skills, all really important ‘life skills’.

    Absolutely love the fact that your son is a tech wizard by now 🙂

    • We were surprised how enthusiastic and dedicated he was at that young age, Jairam…but not complaining! On the side, it made him tech-savvy and he enjoys it! Thank you for your comment!

  • I would love to read your son’s blog.. Can you give me the link? Also I love the diary idea..that can improve and keep the handwriting going.

    • Thank you, Sirisha for your patience! 😀 He blogs at http://vidursury.com
      The diary is a great way to communicate, too. You’ll enjoy everything that gets written in it!

  • I left my comments on your link in post, Vidya. But this list says it all!

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