Facebook Messenger For Kids just launched recently. If you’re like me, you’re worried about how to keep your child safe when they’re on social media. Do our kids really need to start using social media at age six? I’m not so sure. But I know that I’m going to make sure I know how to use Facebook Messenger For Kids safely because my kids might want to sign up for it. I plan on figuring out how to spy on text messages too, just in case. So here are a few ways that you can keep your child safe when they’re using this new app:
Chat With Parents Before You Add Them
In order to add another child to your child’s friends list, you need to friend one of their parents. Then, that parent adds your child to their child’s friend list, and vice versa.
In theory, this is great, because we should always know the parents of our kids’ friends. Well, it pays to chat with them before adding their child. You don’t want to wait until it’s too late and you have to spy on text messages to learn that they might be a bad influence.
I added the parent of one of my son’s friends, and I sent them a message saying hello. The message she sent showed me that I don’t really want my son to be friends with hers. Let’s just say the conversation gave me a little too much information about their private lives. I really don’t want my son to get in the habit of oversharing like that. That’s why it’s a really good idea to get to know the other parent a little more before adding their kid to your child’s friends list.
Check Your Child’s iPhone Or iPad Daily
The Facebook Messenger For Kids app doesn’t let parents spy on text messages to see what their children are typing. You can see everything they type or text through the app, but only if you have the actual device that the app is on. So, one option is to leave the app on your phone and let your child use it every so often. Then later, you can check their social media activity. Or you can make it a habit to check your child’s iPad or iPhone every day to see what they’re doing on Messenger For Kids.
Set Ground Rules
Even though Facebook For Messenger is designed to be used by kids who are between 6 to 12 years old, you should still sit down with your child and create some ground rules for social media. Talk about what is appropriate to post and what isn’t. Make sure your child knows that even though they’re only talking to friends and family, they still shouldn’t post any personal information. Just because the data on the app is protected doesn’t mean it’s impenetrable. Facebook has been hacked before, so keep that in mind.