| May 2020

We Tried Messenger Kids, Here Is What We Found

This post is sponsored by Messenger Kids, all opinions are my own.

My kids are craving more digital freedom. They want to be able to message their friends, video chat, and share silly photos and video clips. Mix in social distancing and distance learning, and this craving goes up 1,000%. We’ve been no strangers to discussing online safety for kids in the past. Because Penn and I make a living online, we know first-hand how it can be both a beautiful and scary place all at once. I was recently invited to a panel around Messenger Kids to hear the benefits of the platform. This is not social media. The messaging app is controlled by parents, meaning I have visibility into and final say on who they can message and at the same time, it provides my kids independence. Double win. I decided to test the app with Penn Charles to see if this was something that could help scratch that itch. 

Virtual Hangout

 I was able to get Penn Charles’ account set-up through my personal Facebook page. When I did, I realized I had several friends who had their children on the app. Penn Charles and I requested a few of them to test a video call with. Once we connected, PC dashed up to his room to show his friend something he’d been working on. Hearing talking and laughter down the hall after they discovered some of the face filters made me smile. 

Once he got off his first video call we explored the app a bit more. In addition to other kids, there were even family connections we could request. PC could connect with his Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins through Messenger Kids, while they talked to him through Messenger. In the Parent Dashboard, I am able to see who he has talked to and for how long. For new friends who aren’t on our list, he can give out a 4 word kid code that makes friend requests easier.

It’s really hard being away from my Mom right now, and the kids are especially missing having her visit. With Messenger Kids, Penn Charles has been talking to her several times per week. It’s so nice that they get to have special one-on-one time through the app. 

Have you tried Messenger Kids with your child? Tell us about your experience and how you’re helping stay connected.

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The Holderness family has been dancing in pajamas and singing during snow days for years — but last year they hit the record button on the camera and published their goofy video on YouTube. Penn, Kim, Lola, and Penn Charles continue to make hilarious videos around tent-pole events and circumstances most families face.