Messenger Kids: Connecting Kids Online Safely, In a Fun Way

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This post is sponsored by Messenger Kids and SHE Media.

While many experts continue to debate the topic of kids and screen time, the world hasn’t stopped moving toward an increasingly digital age. Our children are growing up in a digital space, whether you agree with it or not.

My husband and I recognized that our children’s lives would be much different than our own even before we had them. At the time, he worked in IT and I worked in marketing, so we saw the writing on the wall.

We knew that we would have to teach our kids how to navigate the online social space in a way that would enhance their lives.

Kids Messenger - How to connect kids online safely

Today, our children are tablet/computer/phone savvy and we’re teaching them to be socially savvy too as they encounter more games and apps that allow them to connect with others.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak about parenting in this digital age on a panel at #BlogHer19 Creators Summit hosted by Messenger Kids – a safer and fun messaging app for kids. After downloading the Messenger Kids app and introducing my daughter to its functionality, I was excited to dive into this topic.

Kids Messenger - How to connect kids online safely

While I know people may be leery of allowing their kids to jump into the digital world, Messenger Kids has a lot of features and functions that make me as a parent feel secure about letting my children access it. In fact, it’s become a fun way to allow them to delve into the online world in a safe, supervised way.

Here’s what I learned after using Messenger Kids and why I’m in favor this way of keeping children connected.

Parental controls provide more safety

Safety is always a top priority for parents when they think about letting their kids go online and use social networking apps. Messenger Kids provides this safety by putting the controls in parents’ hands.

Parents control contacts – The contact list or friend list is always one of the biggest issues when giving your child access to an online platform. Obviously, you don’t want them talking to strangers or people you don’t approve of and Facebook understands that. On Messenger Kids, parents have to approve all contacts. This includes the people who your child wants to befriend and the people who send your child a friend request.

Kids Messenger - How to connect kids online safely Kids Messenger - How to connect kids online safely

No disappearing content – On Messenger Kids, parents have the ability to check in on their child’s conversations by checking their message threads. There is no disappearing content and no way for messages to be hidden. Parents can also block and report contacts if something happens or someone becomes a negative influence.

Time limits – Parents can also set time limits for the app, just in case their child likes to spend too much time video chatting with his or her friends. This is important in the digital and social world because sometimes kids don’t realize how much time they’re actually spending online. Having a limit allows you to make sure that Messenger Kids enhances their lives but doesn’t take over.

Kids Messenger - How to connect kids online safely

Kids get to connect in a fun way

Group and individual video and messenger chats are personally my favorite feature on Messenger Kids. We recently moved out of state and away from all of our family, so having a way for my daughter to personally keep in touch with her relatives is invaluable to me.

  • She can talk to all of her aunts and cousins in a group if she wants, or she can chat with them one on one.
  • My mom can call her directly on the app and they can chat without needing me to be a go-between.
  • My brother and his wife send her funny photos to her throughout the day and she can send some back.

Kids Messenger - How to connect kids online safely

Having these touch points and video chat moments with family truly helps my daughter enhance the relationships she has with our relatives.

For older kids, Messenger Kids is also a good way for them to chat with and spend time with friends outside of school. As my daughter gets older, I imagine that she will use the app more socially to chat with friends and classmates – I can see it as a great tool for connecting about school projects or keeping in touch during long school breaks and vacations.

Kid-friendly filters – One of the most fun features on the app are the filters that allow kids to alter their appearance in funny ways. These filters are all kid-friendly and fun. When we downloaded Messenger Kids, we had a blast laughing and playing around with all of them, and sent a bunch of the shots to our family.

Additional fun – The app also includes additional fun activities like a drawing feature and games. My daughter loves to draw, so that feature has been especially fun for her.

Kids Messenger - How to connect kids online safely

Kids Messenger - How to connect kids online safely

Overall, the Messenger Kids app has become valuable for us. It’s been fun and has provided relationship enhancement for my children in allowing them to keep in touch with family over long distances. It’s something that my daughter will continue to use so she can round out her world as it continues to expand – in person and online.

To learn more about Messenger Kids, click here or check it out for yourself! Download it for free on mobile devices and tablets via the relevant App Store – iOS, Android, or Amazon Fire. The Messenger Kids app is a separate download and does not create a Facebook account for the kid.

What are your thoughts on raising kids in today’s digital world? Let me know in the comments below!

For more parenting experiences, click here.

 

39 COMMENTS

  1. I LOVE this so much! I think it’s great that kids can have access to this kind of chat tech without having to worry about outside dangers. The internet is a scary place!

  2. The extra safety and control this app can give you sounds perfect. I’d definitely want the kids to be able to stay in contact with friends and family in a risk-free way.

  3. Thanks for sharing this valuable information. This is perfect for my grandkids. Messenger Kids will help provide both my daughter and myself with a little peace of mind. My granddaughter likes to use the phone and video chat or send pictures.

  4. My mother in law downloaded this for my daughter. I admit, I was trying to keep her away from it for as long as possible. She really does blow my phone up but at least it is safe.

  5. I’m always worried about what the three year old in our family might discover on the internet. Right now she has very limited amounts on the table where she watches Daniel Tiger, but this will be good for the future.

  6. It’s such a different world from that my kids grew up in. I love apps like this that give parents controls and help to keep kids safe! Thanks for spreading the message at events like #BlogHer19.

  7. Safety for children on the internet is extremely important. I love that we are having more conversations and more tools available about this.

  8. I love messenger kids. I have this for both of my daughters. It’s nice that you can keep track of everything and know who they’re talking to and such.

  9. We love messenger kids, I have my two younger kids on it so they can chat and video call with family back in Boston. I am very apprehensive about giving them their own social media accounts so this was a perfect compromise.

  10. I’ve heard of messenger kids, wasn’t quite sure what it was all about. Nice idea to have kids experience a way to message in a safe environment, glad you shared more details about it.

  11. Messenger Kids sounds like a great tool for kids to be able to connect to their family and peers in a safe, controlled environment. I really like that the messages don’t disappear. It really gives parents that extra peace of mind that their kids can start to navigate the online world, safely.

  12. Online safety is very important especially for the kids and I think it’s awesome that there’s an app for them to use to be able to connect with family without risking their safety. Definitely one that I would recommend to parents!

  13. It’s about time they developed a messenger app for kids. I really like that you, as a parent, have to approve every contact. That is a great feature.

  14. I am pro- screen time to kids as long as it’s looked after. Just like anything else, it has it’s pros and cons I suppose. The tips you are practicing are amazing.

  15. This looks great for kids! Keeping them safe is of the upmost importance, but glad they can have some fun with it too. Parental control with the contacts is key!

  16. This is a great idea! My kids are way too small for messaging anyone yet but they do have iPads that are only used to watch YouTube or movies. As they get older I definitely would consider this though as I definitely want to be in control of how they use social media.

  17. Who says managing kids online is difficult? This really makes it realistically manageable at all times. I am glad these methods are discovered.

  18. My friend uses Messenger Kids and she adores it for her little ones. My son is still a little too young for it but once he reaches the right age, we’ll definitely consider it.

  19. Messenger Kids sounds like a wonderful app for the kids! Glad to know that they have safety features. I’m sure it will help parents to keep a track of all the activities!

  20. When you think about it the evolution of electronics are growing rapidly. Kids are always the main target of all this new features it could be an app or gadget. Its good to know parents have control which app is best for their young ones.

  21. The pros and cons of going online, from kids to adult online privacy safety is a priority! Technology has gone a long way to assist and being the source of everything.

  22. First time to hear about it and I can say that I am happy that there’s an app like this for kids, will try using this for now. Thanks for sharing!

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