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The hidden dangers of blogging

Abbi Perets lives in Houston, TX, with her husband and five children.






Can your blog hurt your kids?

When parents blog, do kids get hurt? In your quest for comments and recognition, have you cast off the cloak of anonymity that once protected your writing? In other words, what would happen if your kids read your blog and found out how you really feel?

Mom and Computer

People the world over have discovered the joys of blogging. You can write for an audience, no matter where or who you are. It's a powerful, empowering concept, and many communities have emerged in the blogging world. Of course, parents are a huge blogging community, and of course, parents are likely to blog about, well, their kids.

 

Why and how we blog

Some parents blog as a way to keep extended family updated on the minutiae of life. Some blog because it gets them through a rough patch. For others, blogging gives them the strength to cope. Some even blog because they really want to share their experiences with the world.

Some bloggers are anonymous. Some are out there, and some opt for an in-between space where they give the URL to close friends and family, but they mask the names to keep the general Internet at bay.

So, regardless of how or why parents blog, do we have the right to blog about our kids?

What we blog

On the one hand, of course we do. They have the right to food, clothing and shelter, and we have the right to tell, ad nauseam, embarrassing stories about how they pranced around the house naked singing the theme song from Hannah Montana.

On the other hand, of course we can't. How dare we post on the Internet about their difficulties with their friends, how proud we were when they told the truth about the friend with the drinking problem, the way they cried at the end of Meet the Robinsons, the A+ on the science paper, whatever.

We blog when our children make us proud -- and when they disappoint us. And even when we blog for private reasons, the fact that we blog makes the material inherently public. Imagine for a moment that every significant moment of your life was recorded and preserved and completely searchable by the masses. How would you feel? And how would you feel about the person who had done all the recording?

Talking about blogging

If a nine year old can google her uncle's name and then announce to the family that his forthcoming second child is a girl, imagine the damage a teen can inflict on the family computer. We spend so much time worrying about what our kids might do on the Internet, what information they might reveal, we forget to worry about what they'll find in the files we create and carefully save.

If you do blog about your children, it's probably a good idea to talk to them and explain your reasons for blogging. If you blog in order to have a healthy relationship with your child -- that is, if you put all the crap out there for the world to digest and pretend that everything is okay in real life -- then you definitely need to talk to someone. If you blog anonymously and you're extra careful and you're sure that your child will never find out, then you'll be in for a real treat when the latest Mommy Dearest hits the bookshelves.

Blogging is great. But so are the relationships you cultivate with your family and friends. And it's important for parents to remember that even a post that generates thousands of comments is nothing compared to a single comment from your kid.

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