Parenting Blogs, standards, and traditional media

Filed under: In The News, Playground Bureau, That's Entertainment

I've been having some trouble blogging recently, mostly because I am struggling with this article.

The Globe and Mail is Canada's most popular national newspaper, and it recently profiled one of this country's most prominent "Mommy" bloggers Catherine Connors. The article examined the ethics of blogging about children, and though this subject matter is nothing new to the online space, it is relatively new to traditional old media such as newspapers and television (witness all the news programs suddenly discovering Dooce, like she hasn't been wildly popular online for a decade.)

The article asks the oft-repeated questions: when does a child's right to privacy kick in? Is blogging taking something away from parenting?

In my opinion, Catherine Connors comes across as succinct and intelligent in the article -- though I believe her words might have been edited slightly to better skew with the tone of the piece. What bothers me most about this article is the vitriol spewed forth in the comments section -- accusatory, defamatory comments that accuse Catherine -- and Mom bloggers in particular -- of heinous Crimes Against Childhood.

Catherine posted a brilliant response to the article and its comments, and I've been thinking about her post ever since. She examines a little about why there is so much accusation and hysteria aimed at Mom bloggers (one only needs to hang out at some of the more popular parenting blogs for a few days to witness some of this) compared to Mom writers in traditional media outlets -- think Erma Bombeck.

Writes Catherine: "There's something about mothers lifting back the veil of the family that upsets people, that leads people to accuse the mothers who dare do such a thing of neglecting their maternal duties, of exploiting their children, of exposing their children to the dangers of the public sphere, of being bad. But that's precisely what makes mom-blogging - to overuse a deservedly overused phrase - a radical act. We've always been told to not lift the veil. We've always been told to stay behind the veil, no matter what."

I've never thought of bogging in that light, but as I read this, I was vehemently in agreement with Catherine. Save the vitriol for the child beaters, the alcoholic gambling parents, Moms who are neglecting and abusing their children.

Personally, I don't think my blogging will cause Nolan irreparable harm when he hits his teenage years. If anything, he will have a true, personal account of how much he was loved and cherished as a child -- something, I think, that is pretty precious indeed.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.