Some kids thoroughly enjoy writing. So much so that they may ask their parents whether or not they can start their own blog. Blogging has many potential benefits, from increased confidence and writing skills to improved self-expression and fulfillment. But can kids have a blog, and how can you make sure it’s safe?
Kids can have blogs. Most blogging websites have a minimum age requirement of 13, but kids younger than 13 can start a blog with the help of an adult. You can keep the blog safe by purchasing internet safety software, adjusting restrictions on the blog, and forming rules limiting what can be shared.
If your child has come to you asking whether or not they can start their own blog, you need to know the facts – and that’s exactly what this article shares. Here, you will find all essential info about kids blogging, from how it’s beneficial to how to make it safe.
Can Kids Have a Blog?
Kids can have blogs regardless of their age. Keep in mind that most blogging platforms have an age requirement of at least 13 years old.
However, younger children can start a blog with the help of their parents. When starting a kid’s blog, you have two options: self-hosted or hosted.
A self-hosted blog will be owned by the child, and they will have their own domain name – for example, “KellysThoughts.com.”
A hosted blog is a blog that’s placed on a specific (typically free) platform, such as WordPress or Blogger.
With this option, your child won’t have their “own website.” Instead, they’ll be a part of a larger platform and have a web address such as “JakesAdventuresWithSam.Wordpress.com.”
Regardless of which option is chosen, the next step is to create the aesthetics, which is one of the most fun parts of starting a blog. Your child will have a blast building a personalized site where they can write about their thoughts, favorite things, etc.
Once that’s complete, there’s only one thing left to do: start writing!
Benefits of Blogging for Kids
Some parents are stuck with whether or not to allow their kids to start a blog, unsure if it will genuinely benefit their child. Well, blogging comes with several benefits for kids. Some of the most predominant benefits include:
- It’s fun! Parents are always looking for ways to get kids off social media, video games, etc. While blogging is still under the umbrella of “electronics” and “screen time,” it’s a creative option that can help your child.
- Develops confidence. Children have a lot to say, and they want to be heard. Giving them their own platform provides a cool spot where they can jot down their thoughts, feelings, adventures, and more.
- Improves self-expression. Not all kids are great with their words. Some prefer to write. Allowing a child to have a blog can help them reach a greater sense of self-expression, which can improve other areas of life, too.
- Creates a sense of fulfillment. Giving kids their own space to write what they want, where others can read it, can develop a sense of pride.
- Enhances reading and writing skills. Reading and writing are two essential skills for every child, and practice makes perfect. As your child writes and reads other similar blogs, their reading and writing skills will improve immensely.
- It can look good to colleges. If your child has a blog–whether it performs well or not– that’s an impressive portfolio that showcases their language skills as well as their expertise in certain areas. It also dips their toes into website development and things like graphic design.
How to Make Blogging Safe for Kids
Safety is one of the biggest concerns about allowing your child to create a blog. After all, most parents are well aware of the dangers of the world wide web.
The good news is that there are many ways to be proactive and cut down on potential dangers.
Purchase Internet Safety Software
While it’s a good idea to install internet safety software on your computer without a child’s blog, it’s all the more critical when your child starts blogging.
This software can protect in many ways, from halting hackers in their tracks to restricting personal data from being accessed or sent.
Discuss Online Safety
A good talk with your child is also highly encouraged, blog or no blog. Children need to be aware of the potential dangers lurking on the web.
For instance, they should never talk with strangers or give out personal information.
Create Rules About What Can Be Published
While your child should essentially be given free rein to write what they want on their personal blog, ensure that they know that they should never give out information such as their real name, age, location, where they go to school, etc.
Photos of themselves, friends, and loved ones should also be forbidden. Anonymity in blogging is totally possible.
Adjust Settings and Restrictions for the Blog
Many blogging platforms come with a wide range of settings and restrictions.
For instance, some platforms will allow you to require a password in order to access the blog or give the option to block comments.
Look at the settings to see which safety measures can be implemented.
Keep the Blog Positive
A blog is a great way to express your feelings, good and bad. However, you need to ensure that your child knows it’s not OK to use their platform to slander, bully, or be offensive.
Not only is this poor blogging etiquette, but your child may unknowingly make enemies along the way, which could spill over into their day-to-day life.
Talk About What to Do in Dangerous Situations
Your child should know they can come to you if they are ever feeling scared, stalked, or harassed by someone on their blog.
Let your child know they should tell you ASAP so the situation can be rectified, from blocking the individual to getting the authorities involved.
A Blog Can Be a Great Option for Children of All Ages
If your child is interested in creating their own blog, know that it’s a wonderful idea with many advantages for your kiddo.
Just make sure that they are aware of the dangers of blogging online and what things they should and should not post.