Why I let my five-year-old have her own travel blog

It’s one of our goals as parents to inspire our children to do great things, is it not? Perhaps we dream that they will one day follow in our footsteps down a path we’ve created for ourselves. Is it not the utmost compliment when people, especially our children, tell us that they would like to be just like us?

So imagine how my heart melted when, one day, my five-year-old daughter, Lucia, said to me, “Mommy, I want to be a travel blogger like you.” (UPDATE: She was four at the time; she’s six now.)

“You mean when you grow up? You want to be a travel blogger?” I asked.

“No,” she replied. “Now. I want to be a travel blogger now.”

How could I say no to that? She came up with this idea all on her own and was serious about it. I was somewhat blindsided by her proclamation so I just said, “We’ll talk about it with Daddy when we get home, ok?”

We got home and Daddy was not down with the idea of our daughter having her own travel blog. He expressed concerns about internet predators and there being too much information about Lucia available online. Valid concerns, of course. But then I pointed out to him that, as a family travel blogger, I often write about our family’s adventures on my own blog and include photos of Lucia and even her younger brother. So some of her information and her likeness are already out there. I also stressed that I would be in total control of content and photos; I know what’s safe to publish and what isn’t. It took a few weeks of convincing but Daddy finally caved.

Lucia, blogging away!

Lucia, blogging away!

My daughter’s blog has been live for a few months now. She and I are having a ball with it. I imagine there are other parents (maybe even non-parents) out there that have the same concerns as my husband, or just think that a blog for a five-year-old is ridiculous. I can appreciate those points of view, but I see the blog as providing unique opportunities for Lucia and me. Hear me out:

  1. It encourages Lucia to expand her curiosity about the world. She already has a pretty extensive travel bucket list for a five-year-old. As she learns about new places, she tends to say, “I want to go there!” Now, she follows up that statement with, “And then I can blog about it!” As we’re traveling, she pays more attention to what we’re doing and what we’re experiencing so she can remember everything and later write about it. To her, we’re not just visiting another church or seeing another monument. She is curious about the details and wants to take it all in. One reason my husband and I decided to travel with our kids, long before we even had any, is that we firmly believe first-hand experiences are the best way to learn. Travel provides such experiences and therefore we view it as a form of education. To me, Lucia’s desire to travel translates into a desire to learn and far be it from me to discourage that tendency.
  2. It fosters her creativity. At five, Lucia is just beginning to uncover her talents. When we sit down to write a blog post, she begins by relaying her thoughts, most of which are of the factual variety, such as “We are going to Germany,” or “I ate a lot of gelato in Italy.” I type the words and sentences exactly the way she says them but then try to get her to think more creatively. I’ll ask her questions based on the five senses, prompting her to describe colors, smells, and sounds. Since starting her blog, Lucia also has become more interested in photography. She routinely asks to take pictures of the places we’re visiting so she can include them with her blog posts. Not satisfied with run-of-the-mill photo compositions, she aims for unique angles and perspectives. If writing turns out not to be her thing, maybe photography will.
  3. It allows us to spend meaningful time together. As I said, she does the talking and I do the typing. Between all the written and spoken words, though, Lucia and I are reliving our experiences together, recalling fond memories that we made as a family. Moreover, now that she has a little brother, she and I don’t have as many opportunities for one-on-one time. She gets a little boisterous when I don’t pay enough attention to her so I take that as a cue to sit down and write a blog post. It’s become our “thing” and ours only.

Our family has just returned from Europe and Lucia and I will be blogging about our experiences. If you’d like to learn about our trip from Lucia’s point of view, check out her blog – Bonjour, Amigo!

A version of this article originally was published on Mommy Nearest.

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18 Responses to Why I let my five-year-old have her own travel blog

  1. Raul (@ilivetotravel) April 27, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    I think what you are doing is so awesome! You are stimulating her creativity, self-confidence and growth – great example of good parenting. Kudos.

    • Francesca May 1, 2014 at 11:49 am #

      Thanks, Raul!

  2. Erin - The World Wanderer April 27, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    I am so glad you let Lucia have a travel blog because it’s one of my favorites! As an English teacher, I say that it’s not only helping with literacy skills, but also allowing her to be creative. Way to go, Mom! Plus, you are utilizing technology…bonus!

    It must be so cool to have a little mini-me, and you must feel a sense of pride that she wants to see the world AND tell people about it. She is wise beyond her years! 🙂
    Erin – The World Wanderer recently posted…The Best Places to Relax Around the World.My Profile

    • Francesca May 1, 2014 at 11:50 am #

      Thank you for all the kind words, Erin. I’m so glad you enjoy reading Lucia’s blog. She gets SO excited whenever there’s a new comment!

  3. Traveling Ted April 27, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

    Lucia is way ahead of the curve on this one and has a great platform now for show and tells at school. She will be the envy of all her classmates in school. I think it is great that she is doing this. I never thought of how blogging could be such a learning tool.
    Traveling Ted recently posted…Big Bend Chisos Mountains hikeMy Profile

    • Francesca May 1, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      It really is a learning tool, isn’t it? And as Erin pointed out, it promotes literacy skills and technology usage. Win/win!

  4. craig zabransky (@StayAdventurous) April 28, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Love, love, love… this. There is no better educator then travel and what a great way to introduce it to her… having her blog about it and do it with you…. but hmmm, something does concern me… if it is so easy a 5 year old could do it, what does that say about our profession…

    stay being a great mommy, Craig
    craig zabransky (@StayAdventurous) recently posted…My 200th Sunset Sunday – Reflecting on the Series from Islamorada, FloridaMy Profile

    • Francesca May 1, 2014 at 11:53 am #

      Well, Craig, all Lucia is really doing is expressing her thoughts. She’s 5 so it’s written in a five-year-old voice. If someone our age in our profession consciously writes with a five-year-old voice, well then we have a problem.

  5. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids April 28, 2014 at 11:14 pm #

    I think that is amazing and adorable! I can’t wait to check her blog out 🙂
    Val – Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids recently posted…5 Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler their ABCs and 123s + GIVEAWAYMy Profile

    • Francesca May 1, 2014 at 11:53 am #

      Thank you, Val!

  6. Lance | Trips By Lance April 29, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    My grandmother wrote a gossip column in the local newspaper for her farming community in Arkansas. Every time we visited her it would be in the paper the next week. This was back in the 70s and 80s. No idea if she did it before then. But that was my first exposure to journalism. As a child I wrote short stories and plays. I even wrote a Christmas play that my fourth-grade class acted out for our parents at the Christmas party that year. My mom always encouraged me to do these things. In high school I was on the yearbook staff; in college it was the school newspaper. I ended up majoring in journalism, a career I’ve been in for 15 years now with the blog the past year.
    My point is I was exposed to the craft early and it was always encouraged, even if just in a gentle way. I think this is great that you are pointing her in the direction of this, even if gently. Our son showed a great talent for drumming at 3 (my mom bought him a drum set). So at 4 we put him in lessons, bought him a full kit at 5, and by 7 he was tired of it all. As parents it’s great to push our kids into things they show a passion in, but it’s important to let them go at their pace. I think you’re doing this. I applaud you.
    Lance | Trips By Lance recently posted…Beale Street Music Festival GuideMy Profile

    • Francesca May 1, 2014 at 11:57 am #

      Lance, you’ve just validated my efforts. Thank you for your support. Thanks, also, for sharing the story of how/why you got started in journalism. I realize Lucia may not want to write anymore by the time she’s 7, just as Colby didn’t want to play drums anymore, but I want to expose her (and her brother) to as much as possible. They can figure out what they like and don’t like and choose to pursue whatever interests them.

  7. Aggy April 29, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    This is amazing! Lucia is so lucky to have a mum who can help her dig out her potential, it’s amazing that she wants to write her travel adventures at such a young age! Well done Lucia!
    Aggy recently posted…10 Perfect Hideaway SpotsMy Profile

    • Francesca May 1, 2014 at 11:58 am #

      Lucia and I thank you, Aggy!

  8. Francesca June 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    Wow, that’s so precious! I have been writing poems, stories, and journals since I was about 7. I wish that I had the technology like we do today to start blogging so early! Wishing you and your family the best! 🙂

  9. Karen January 7, 2016 at 7:37 am #

    That’s so sweet! My kids are active on my blog and share their opinions in posts, but I doubt any of them would have the focus to write/share their experiences consistently. At least I never went through the dreaded “No pictures of me!” phase.

  10. Jolanta | Casual Travelers January 8, 2016 at 5:12 am #

    I really thought I already left a comment on this piece! I think it’s fantastic that your daughter wants to follow your footsteps. You and I know very well how many things running a blog teaches: coming up with a concept, taking photos, putting your thoughts into words, creating a publishing schedule, learning how to promote yourself, and most of all learning, learning about the places you visit. Every trip is a learning opportunity, and adds to who you are. There’s no reason she shouldn’t learn all those things as well, at an early age.
    Jolanta | Casual Travelers recently posted…Tips for a Fun December Weekend in BostonMy Profile

  11. Meagan at A Friend Afar January 8, 2016 at 8:48 am #

    I think this is really great! She’s going to LOVE reading through this when she’s older. I found my first travel journal recently, and it was both inspiring and hysterical. She picked a great blog name, too! Love it!

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