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.
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