Jane wants to save the oceans. She asked me if I could please make her a “dot org”.
By “dot org” what Jane really meant was 501c. After a long explanation about how Mom and Dad couldn’t possibly manage the books for a non-profit, Jane was satisfied with the option of directing online donations to Ocean Futures Society. In all likelihood I’ll mask the url on a posterous or Tumblr site so that Jane can easily create posts as she deems appropriate.
Jane isn’t online yet, but she will be, it’s just a matter of time. It might be days, I’m hoping for weeks.
How do bloggers teach their children about this virtual space? Am I better off because I know some of the potential pitfalls? Is it a benefit to know the magic of social media?
My site is blocked on the kids’ computers, but let’s be frank, that won’t work forever. How much is too much, and how do I guide my daughter?
My son who is 13 got his first dot com at 11, and my 11 year old daughter got her dot com earlier this year. For both of the them I have given them some rules – no using your real name, no posting personal info about yourself, friends or family, and all comments are moderated.
Beyond that I have given them encouragement and basic guidance. My son doesn’t really like to write so his blog is really a good way to get him to write more. My daughter loves writing, has made a ridiculous number of nail design and hairstyle video tutorials, and seems to really enjoy the blogging process.
Have a great week!
I also have a 12 year old boy that doesn’t like to write but he does have his interests. What a great idea!
With 4 kids from 12-21 my two cents is make sure the computer is in your office (not in their bedroom), that they have to show you the screen whenever you ask, you are their friend on whatever social network they belong to until they are 18 (I am NOT my college age daughters’ Facebook friend), and remember that your rules may not be shared by their friends’ parents (and thats’ where the real trouble in middle school is).
My son is seven and I recently snapped up pretty much every possible iteration of his name with .com, .net, .org and so on. It may seem premature but it’s investment I’m willing to make to ensure his name is protected when it comes time for potential employers (and college admissions officers?) to start Googling him. There’s enough to worry about when it comes to our kids; his online reputation (before he’s even had a chance to establish one!) shouldn’t be one of them.
I had my kids computers’ blocked from my site. And I went one step further and had the school block my url as well. But that only lasted until the first of their friends got iTouches and iPhones and it quickly became apparent that I couldn’t block the entire world.
So, a crash course on the internet followed, as well as a lesson in boundaries and strict limits and rules which are enforced. It’s not a perfect system, I can’t block the entire internet from my young tweens, but I darn sure can educate them and and give them the tools to make good choices with.
Jane will be fine.
Thanks for the post! I just bought a domain for my 13 year old daughter. She hasn’t done her first post yet but hopefully she’ll get there soon. I’m trying to teach her this could be her summer job in a few years and possibly pay her way through college. Thanks again and I look forward to following more of your blog!