On the blog, Mile High Mamas, there was a post that asked the question whether or not a 10 year old should be allowed to have her own email account and blog. I commented with some of the following information because I just had a conversation with a friend about this very subject.
My friend gave me permission to share her experience here on my blog since she doesn't have one of her own. Her daughter is 11 and was recently allowed to have her own blog. Like the mother that posted on Mile High Mamas, my friend was unsure whether it was a good idea to let her daughter have a presence on the internet. There are so many scary stories out there and I applaud any parent who is faced with this question and takes it seriously. I don't think there are any clear cut answers and I think only parents are qualified to make decisions regarding this subject. By the way- the following experience can be applied to regular teenagers, too.
Having said that, I'd like to share my friend's experience in saying yes to her daughter's desire to have her own blog. She said yes, but with certain expectations and limitations. I won't list all of those, but one agreed upon item was that the daughter was not allowed to post until mom read it and gave her approval. She didn't want her daughter to give out any personal information.
For the most part, her daughter has done a great job. There were only a few little things that mom didn't want going out. All she had to do was to explain what particular piece of the post was the problem and why. She did it as she sat in front of the computer and next to her daughter. There was an open discussion - a conversation where both sides were heard. And once mom was able to give good reason why the certain info was better left off the post, the daughter could see and understand why her mom wanted it that way.
I just think this is a beautiful picture; mom and daughter sitting side by side, mutually conversing, mom teaching and daughter listening and learning. The mom told me that this time has actually been a wonderful way to keep the lines of communication open between the two of them. She has seen the benefit in other areas of their relationship, too. Where before, communication might have been difficult, or even, non-existent, now it's present and fairly easy going. She feels so much closer to her daughter.
And I say that's a great thing! It's very easy for a parent-child relationship to be stained and increasingly growing distant as the child enters adolescence/middle school. I would encourage any parent nearing this time, or in this time, to find ways to stay connected with your child. One of the best ways to do that is take an interest in what your child is into or wants to get into. The benefits of a close relationship and open communication will not only greatly benefit the both of you during this time, but could make all the difference in the future paths he or she will eventually take.
link of the day: