My son is 12. He learned to read at a very early age and has always loved literacy. He has an active mind and I love nothing more than to see him with his notebook and pen planning his latest business venture or designing his latest skateboard.
Blogging and websites have been a part of our lives for the last four years. I used to run a women's website so he has seen the fun I have and what pleasure writing can bring as a hobby and also to other people. More importantly, he's also seen the negative side - online criticism can be personal and hurtful.
So when he asked me if he could set up a blog, I wasn't sure. Would it be safe? Would he be able to handle negative comments? Would it become addictive and take too much of his time?
I wanted a platform that was easy to handle, easy to control and - if I'm honest - easy to delete! So after a bit of a play with a moonfruit website, we decided on Blogger as I'd used this before and it is very straightforward to find your way around.
He did it all himself - it was so easy. Within half an hour his first post was published.
For the first day or two, he checked back regularly to see how many views he had received, or if there were any comments. He would religiously add posts and I enjoyed watching his excitement and anticipation.
He wrote mostly about skateboarding and golf - two quite opposite things that he loves. But he did soon make the mistake of blogging about his science homework and how boring it was! I realised that he had actually been blogging when he should have been studying. He hasn't made that mistake again.
His blog isn't very active - as he is only 12 I don't allow him Facebook or Twitter or other social media tools that might bring more traffic to his blog. I don't feel that would be responsible of me as a parent, so luckily he hasn't had any negativity around it.
And he has a great deal of fun with it, but like anything with children - the initial buzz has now worn off and he doesn't update it as often as he used to. But it is still there and he does still take a look at it.
I think, if you are careful, a blog is a great tool for children. It develops literacy skills and uses their imagination - something that too much computer gaming and television don't do. It is using technology in a positive and educational way and I would encourage it.
I would always be careful with the subject matter. I don't think it is wise to divulge too many personal details on the internet as an adult, and my privacy settings on Facebook are very tight. So a diary may not be something I would encourage - but writing about a hobby or a pastime is just fine.
It has to be supervised of course - but I am conscious of this - my son knows never to delete the history on his computer without asking and after the homework incident, the laptop remains wherever the rest of the family are - so if anything disturbing did happen, I am confident we would know about it.
I asked him what he enjoyed about blogging, and he said "because it's fun to do, and when you get loads of page views, it makes you feel good."