Do your teenagers blog? Tips for Parents of Teenage Bloggers

You know I'm pretty sure my kids do not read my blog and if they do, they never say anything about it. Oh unless I put something up that's super embarrassing for them. But what surprised me recently is that my son has his own blog. He happened to leave the computer logged into it one evening and I found it. He's only posted a a few times, but who would have thought my own son is a closet blogger and I had no idea.

I love that the tagline to his blog is "Take a trip through my mind and thoughts." 

Screen Shot of my Son's Blog Header
I believe strongly that blogs are a great way to document, share and simply get things down on paper (so to speak). I grew up keeping journals...I loved writing in them and I was pretty faithful, but I haven't been for years.

I do find blogging has sort of replaced that for me..minus my deep dark thoughts that only go in a journal and get burned before you die (and yes I have a few of those).

But as a teenager, I'm sure this was very theraputic for my son. He didn't write much about anything deep and revealing, just short to the point things...oh except one about him being up at 2am on a school night...we need to talk about that one. However I think I'll keep it to myself (and my blog followers) that I found this blog. It's good to thing your mom is monitoring "everything"...right??

Now I know my daughter has a blog, she actually asked me to help set it up for her and I designed the header...so cute if I do say so myself. But she stopped blogging on it last year (apparently lost it's novelty). But the fact that both my 14 and 15 1/2 year old teens have their own blogs I thought I would share some things I've learned.

Safety Tips for Parents of Teenage Bloggers

1. If they will agree, I would make the blog private. That means it's password protected and only those people they invite to ready it via an email invitation can view the blog (at least that's how Blogger does it). That way they can invite family and friends they want to read it. But be cautious and only invite those you trust to visit your blog. 

2. Talk to them about safe blogging practices, like not putting your address or phone number on the blog. Being vague about school and friends too and avoid listing full names. In fact, a lot of my mom blogger friends have given their family members nick names...you can have a lot of fun with this!

3. Set up their blog so you, as their parent, are one of the admins on the blog too. That way you always have full access to their blog if needed (I say the same thing about Facebook accounts as well).

4. Don't post anything you would regret. Especially anything you wouldn't want your mom, grandma, teacher or heaven forbid a predator. My mom always said, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." I've taken it a step further, "don't say anything online about someone that you wouldn't say to them offline...to their face."

5. Ask to view your teen's profile page and offer to give suggestions on what's appropriate to list.

6. Don't believe everything you teen writes on their blog. Remember they are a generation of "anonymous sharers." They share everything and think no one is reading, but they secretly hope someone is reading (besides their parents).

7.  If you like to blog, like I do. Offer to share tips and favorite widgets with your teen. You never know you might teach each other cool techniques and tools and become a dynamic-blogging duo, making lots of money too (well, I'm a dreamer).

8. Don't STRESS...it's much easier to keep your kids safe online. And remember YOU are the parent and you can set the rules, but helping keep your kids safe online requires you to be actively involved in monitoring what they are DOING on the computer.

Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts
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