This post is sponsored by Messenger Kids and SheKnows Media.

Piper is my sweetheart, she’s 12 years old and absolutely wonderful. She’s the extrovert in our family and she’s an adorable social butterfly. She’s growing up and has so many friends, along with interests, ideas and thoughts that must be shared. All that has made me realize that it’s time for me to support her independence and let her enter into the online world.

 

She used to call me on my shell phone…

 

…But I’m still a parent, so I had to ease into this and not just rip the proverbial Band-Aid off. I’ve had Facebook since the days of needing a .edu email address. I’ve seen so many wonderful things on Facebook: I’ve been able to watch my friends and family travel the world and I’ve let them come along as we’ve done the same. I’ve shared in the joy that my long term forever friends have had – I’ve seen them graduate college, get amazing jobs, fall in love, and have babies. They’ve seen me do the same.   Facebook is for sharing, Facebook is for laughter, Facebook is for friendship.     

 

Unfortunately, the online world also has a dark side and not everyone wants to use it to share about the joyful parts of life – this is what I want to protect my daughter from. That’s why I’m so happy that Facebook listens to parents and created a way to keep our kids safe while allowing them to share in so many happy moments: they created Messenger Kids!

Facebook listens to parents and created a way to keep our kids safe while allowing them to share in so many happy moments: they created Messenger Kids!

Messenger Kids lets parents have complete control over who their kids can contact, and as a parent you can even invite your child’s friends to join in the fun and sign up for a FREE account.

After the quick and painless set up (done by a parent), your child can video call and message close friends and family from their tablet or smartphone. You and your child will have to abide by a few simple rules, which are the same rules that we live by: Be Kind, Be Respectful, Be Safe and Have Fun. After agreeing to these parameters, you can go through your contacts and select who your child would enjoy connecting with – Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Best Friends, School Buddies, Teammates, etc!  

 

You can monitor your kid’s conversations and even set timers, so your kids don’t stay up too late using the app after bedtime. Your child is safe, you can keep tabs on their conversations, and even make sure they don’t get too much screen time – I couldn’t think of a simpler way to keep all parents happy and reassured about their kid’s online activity.    

 

Not only is Messenger Kids designed to keep parents happy, it’s also SUPER fun for kids. There are age appropriate filters, silly stickers, and gifs that will keep your kids giggling while they talk to Grandma and Grandpa.  

 

Piper has been using the app for about a week now and is very impressed, Grandma texted me earlier too, and she’s super happy Messenger Kids lets her talk to Piper more. What an amazing way to keep families and friends connected while gently introducing children to the online world. It started as a dialogue at dinner surrounding online safety that I hope will continue as Piper gets older. Online communication is a great thing and can let us all make awesome connections. However, the conversions surrounding how to use it in a safe way need to start now, before anything can turn sour! Education and prevention are key.  

Would you like to learn more about Messenger Kids? Check out their website, Facebook page, or download the app in the Apple, Android, or Amazon Fire app stores.