You may have noticed in some of my previous posts that I am a father to three beautiful, intelligent, wonderful daughters who never cease to amaze me and make me proud. Well, recently, the two older girls came to me with a request that has me bursting with pride.
“Daddy,” they said, “we were talking about it, and we want to start a blog. We’ll write the articles ourselves – they’ll be about fashion and book reviews and that sort of stuff.”
Pleasantly surprised, I said, “Wow, that’s great! But, you know, you have to be careful not to say anything about yourselves specifically. You need to keep your identity from random crazy people.”
“We know – we already talked about that. We’re going to come up with fake names and write stuff like, ‘Hi this is Blah, and I was thinking….'”
Wow. They already figured out that they were going to use pseudonyms, and how to use them. “But we need your help to start it, because we don’t know how to set up a blog, or where to go to do it.”
“OK,” I answered, “I’ll talk to Mommy about it, and if we think it’s OK, we’ll go ahead with it.”
Blogging is relatively new to me, at least as far as my own experience is concerned. I have two blogs, both less than a year old, and a far cry from anything close to even semi-known. But, like most bloggers I presume, I write because I want and like to write. Of course, it wasn’t too long ago, in college even, that I hated writing. Even a few simple paragraphs were enough to have me pulling my hair out in frustration. I do not want my daughters to feel that way, and this is one way to foster a love of writing in them at the early ages of nine and eleven.
But, I am concerned about their safety. The last thing I want is for them to be in the spotlight personally. The pseudonyms can be there, but that’s their purpose. If we allow this blog idea to happen, I will take every last precaution to keep them safe.
Another concern of mine, and you may not know this, is that people on the Internet can be not nice, even downright mean! I swear – it’s true! Now, I do plan to mitigate this by turning on comment moderation and filter the comments myself. Also, I plan to set up anonymous e-mail for contact, and be the only one to read that, at least at first. But, I admit, the mean people don’t concern me as much as the crazy people. I plan to explain this to them, and use it to teach them how to handle criticism. This is a lesson they should learn earlier in life rather than later.
So, what’s the result? Well, I’ll be honest – my wife and I haven’t quite decided yet. Like I said, I want to nurture in them that love of writing, because I know it is a skill that will serve them well in life. I also want them to learn to live with criticism, and to use to to improve themselves. But I don’t want to expose them to any dangers, either.
In the meantime, they have been bugging me to make the blog already. I love their enthusiasm, and am proud of their tenacity. I know that we have to decide soon before those fires die down.
How about you? Do you have or know of any children who write their own blogs? What advice can you give my wife and me? How about for my daughters?