Carefree Parenting: clearly a blog meant for parents, to make parenting easier, carefree.
Then, the other day, a friend wondered if it would be a good idea for him to share one of my posts with his child. He shot off a mail to me. “Why don’t you consider recommending to parents that they share some of your posts with their children? You know, suitable for ages above…”
“Great idea!” was my response. I honestly believe much of the information on the blog would be useful to children as well. They would get a chance to see (and hopefully appreciate 🙂 ) their parents’ point of view objectively. They would get a glimpse into what their parents think and feel about their offspring’s speech, behavior, actions.
They’d see how other children and other parents behave. They might even find new ways to reach out to you, their parents.
But recommend the blog? I think that would be out of line, inappropriate. It is not for me to say whether or not you should share a post (or some or all of them) with your child. Only you, as a parent, can take a call on that.
You might want to share the stories that the blog is peppered with; try them on for size, maybe, with your child. “Today I read about this kid who… What do you think the parent / child should have done? What would you have done? What do you think I would have done?” That’s one way of sharing too, without either reading out the post to your child or reading it with your child or getting your child to read it and then discussing it with her.
And it’s a great conversation starter between you and your child – especially if you’d like to talk about topics or issues that you are uncomfortable around each other with. One mom I know told her son to read my post on when to talk to children about sex etc., and then asked what he thought about it. It became a great way for her to introduce the topic between them without the discomfort of reading the post with him.
It depends on your child’s age. Do you already read things with her? Then go ahead, but the decision of which posts to read, and how much of them to read has to be yours.
She will listen (at least to begin with 🙂 ) when you start reading something from the blog. But it might not make sense to her, she might not see the point of it – you need to be prepared for that as well.
If your child accesses the internet on her own, you need to take an especially considered decision, because once you introduce her to the blog, she could visit it anytime, without your permission, or even knowledge. Would you be comfortable with that? Unless, of course, you set up Net Nanny or other programs to block free access to specific websites. But you can do that only at home. What if she accesses the blog at school? Or at a friend’s place? You won’t have any control over that.
All my writing – the subjects I talk about, the examples I use, the language I use – is stuff I am comfortable talking about as well – with adult and child alike. Even with a very young child, though I’m sure I’d tailor my examples and vocabulary to his understanding. But I don’t know your child individually, which is why I feel that sharing parts (or all) of the blog with your child is best left to your discretion.
My daughter was 12 when I began writing the blog, and she had access to the internet, so I knew that she could access it. I had no clearly defined idea about whether or not I wanted her to read it. I was more concerned about writing, and getting the writing onto the blog! 🙂
Once I’d done so, she asked if she could read what I’d written. “Sure – go ahead! And tell me what you think,” was my response.
I think she liked it, though I don’t specifically remember her complimenting me on it or anything like that. (Again, this is my kid, so I’m sure there’s a huge bias in my favor. 🙂 )
She asked me if she could read what I’d written a couple more times. And before we knew it, she’d sit down once every week or 10 days and read through everything I’d published in that period.
And that’s how it continues to this day. She tells me what she thinks of my posts, and sometimes we talk about some incidents or share ‘should-have-beens’ and ‘might-have-beens’…
There is one thing I am particular about: her right to privacy. Whenever I think an incident might be ‘too personal’, I check with her if I can write about it. Thus far, she hasn’t found anything too personal (in fact, she’d even forgotten a couple of the things I’ve mentioned!).
Personally, I am fine with her reading everything I write.
You might feel that way too – because the truth is, once your child is old enough, it is impossible to control, or even supervise his environment. You might lock up his books, disconnect the TV, not allow radio, ban the newspaper, even homeschool him, but all it takes is one other individual (a playmate?) for him to be exposed to ideas you have no control over.
But then again, my relationship with my child is open enough for us to talk about all kinds of things. And she initiates issues as often as I do. It is this that gives me the confidence to exert a relatively low level of control – especially over what she reads.
But when she was younger (till about 7 or so), there was no book she read or movie she watched that hadn’t been fully vetted by me.
Like I said, it’s your decision – it has to be. And you have to make the decision anew every time.