Kids and Online Safety: I let My Daughter Start a Blog

Yes – you read that right…  I let my daughter, my SIX year old (almost SEVEN) start a blog today.  She had had more than 400 hits to the site on her first day.  She has dozens of comments.  She?  Is in heaven.  She is reading, writing, (typing), spelling, laughing and thinking creatively.  I’ve heard great feedback:  ’what a big girl’, ‘how fabulous for her creativity’, ‘is she really writing it on her own?’  Yes – she does seem so big to me, yes, her joy and creativity went through the roof today and YES – she really is writing and responding on her own.  With me right next to her.  But I’ve also been asked about the not-so-pretty-side of children being online. These are my thoughts….  I’d love for you to chime in.

(P.S. your volume will NOT need to be loud – the audio is strong)

 

  • Dwmatty

    Danielle,
    This is geared towards a reaction to something already done, rather than input on something being considered.   You and  your husband have already made the decision, so anything said here by your readers isn’t going to change your opinion.   You certainly have addressed all of the issues and concerns in your video, and I’m sure the responses you get will cover all ends of the spectrum.  I think the concept of getting her involved in writing and interacting with others is great.  Computers and being online is a fact of life, even for our children.  And the social interaction and communication skills she’ll be learning will serve her well in coming years.  That being said, online safety is probably the one aspect that jumps right out at people when they see this.  My greatest concern is what your daughter might be exposed to, EVEN with you by her side.  Once she sees something inappropriate, it’s too late.  I don’t have to tell you the lengths that that predators will go to, to gain access to children.  Not only those looking for a victim, but those who just get their kicks sending things and looking for a reaction.  If you aren’t already doing so, my suggestion is to monitor her comments BEFORE she reads them, and at this age to not allow incoming email.  As you said, educating her about the internet and everything good and bad that goes along with it is important.  However, it needs to be age appropriate. Being the web savvy person you are, you probably already know about GPS data attached to photos.  When you take a picture with a digital camera, it records the location where the picture was taken.  Someone with the knowledge and ability, can click on the picture you’ve posted on your blog (or hers), and identify the location to an accuracy of 15 feet.  That means that if you took the picture at your home address, a predator could find it.  The GPS function can be disabled in your camera settings.Otherwise, I hope Delaney enjoys her new blog, and that with the enthusiasm I suspect she has for it, that YOU find the time to help her with it.  Best to you……..Matty 

  • Danielle Smith

    Matty – you are right on…. on so many of these points.  Yes, I have already decided to allow her to have the blog, but I wanted to start this conversation because I am already getting varied feedback.  Truthfully, most of it is extremely positive, but there have been some questions and I so I decided to address them.  As you mentioned, she won’t see one single comment before I do, she won’t spend time searching ANYTHING online (other sites, youtube, etc) without me sitting next to her, and I do know, very well about GPS on photos and how easily photos can be taken from sites.  After our picture ended up in Prague two years ago (when it was taken from one of my sites) I learned very quickly a) how easily it can happen and b) how important it was to safeguard what is on my sites.  Thank you for caring enough to point out the dangers I may not be aware of…  I’m grateful. 

  • http://livingthebalancedlife.com Bernice Wood

    Danielle,
    As a parent to 4 young adults and grandmother to 7 grandchildren, I want to commend you for helping your daughter explore and build her passion. Yes, there are the security issues, but it sounds as though you have that covered. 
    The fact is, you are supporting her in doing something she loves. Whether she continues to blog or not, or becomes famous or not, is not the issue. The issue is that you gave her the chance. I have an 11 year old grandson who has a business making a gourmet food product. My daughter gets comments all the time that is is “so nice that she and her husband are so supportive of their son”. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do as parents? Help our children explore and find their passions? Helping them do so safely, but with the freedom to grow and expand?
    We exposed our kids to many things and many different activities as they were growing up, to help them find their passions, I wish more parents would do the same!
    Bernice

  • KT Spence

    Wow your daughter is really lucky to have a supportive mum like you. Most parents are afraid of letting your kids use the Internet but I think it is a wonderful medium for our kids to learn, entertain and express. For me it is all about surveillance, so when my daughter is online, reading blogs or playing on virtual worlds like her favourite http://www.eKidnaworld.com I make sure that I am right beside her.

  • Anonymous

    the writer is a very smart and kindhearted one, I learned her method…

  • Anonymous

    You are a great mum.

  • Youcantsay10

    u are not smart !

  • Stephanietaver

    hi im new here

  • Carly

    are kid’s bullyed on here? cause i have been bullyed online and offline! :(   i don’t like it!!!!!!! kid’s call me fat, stupied,babby! they need to stop!!!!!!!!!!

  • Olivia

    -Olivia
    Having kids blog on the internet is great !!!!!

  • Olivia

    This is the coolest website ever because kids and grownups can post comments when ever you want and where ever you go
    -Olivia