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What risks does my child face if he or she blogs?

Erik Fisher
Psychology
The following are cons of blogging for children:

1. The "Me" Attitude: We all want to feel important. The idea that millions of people may be logging on to read what your child has written can create a heightened sense of importance. What I have noticed in a fair amount of the kids in today's culture is that they have an increased sense of entitlement and tend to act arrogantly, feeling that they are above others. If this is an issue with your child, recognize that entitlement can be replaced with healthy self-respect. Examine your own behavior, and talk to your child about their attitudes toward him or herself. You may find that your child's grandstanding blog compensates for other areas in life where he or she feels very insecure.

2. Internet Bullying: Just like real-life bullying, blogs can become a haven for internet bullies. It's often easier to be really nasty on the other side of a computer screen, and kids may blog to demean or humiliate others. If your child is a victim of internet bullying or an internet bully him or herself, address the issue immediately. Make sure your child understands the wisdom of respecting other people, even if he or she doesn't feel respected by what somebody has done to them.

3. Misinformation: While some blogs can be educational or informational, many times the accuracy of information isn't checked. Children often don't discern between what is opinion and what is fact, and it may be easy for them to be swayed by the content of blogs. The more you maintain open communication with your kids, the more likely they are to talk to you if they have a question about something they've read. And remember, you can always ask them what they have been learning from blogs. If necessary, gently ask for the sources of their information, and help them understand the difference between information that is backed up by reliable sources and those that are not.

4. Online Predators: Blogs may provide some questionable people the ability to make connections with your kids. It is not possible to know who is often writing these blogs, and therefore one cannot be sure of the motivations of individuals who are writing them. While I would not want you to live in fear of what your kids are doing and who they are talking to, it is prudent to take a look at their online community. Give them the space to have some privacy, but know that they also need guidance and/or your supervision in discerning who may be safe and unsafe to talk to.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.