• Tina Centineo

Messenger Kids ~ Smart, Safe, and Social Emotionally Supportive

"Children are the living message we send to a time we will not see." Does this quote resonate with you? It certainly does with me!

In fact, this quote is my frame of reference when teaching social emotional learning to my students. What are the messages I want them to carry on into a far away future? I want them to carry a strong sense of self awareness into the future, along with an appreciation of others and the world around them. I also want them to have a future that is built around positivity, healthy relationships, and responsible decision making.

Since technology plays an integral role in today's world and will always impact how we interact with one another, it is essential to recognize and understand how to support social emotional development through programs and apps that kids access through their tablets and smartphones.

At the end of every school day, my students and I come together for our closing circle. We talk about the day's SEL message, and I always end by telling them to go home and share everything that they learned with their family. I'll say, "Tonight, I want you to talk about what you've learned over dinner, and share the activity with your family. Teach them about the day's lesson: perseverance, flexible thinking, developing a growth mindset, whatever it may be! Take the time to do this instead of playing on your devices." But, hey, wait a minute! What if they could use their devices to share the SEL lessons with even more family, friends, and classmates?

This is where Messenger Kids comes in!

Messenger Kids is a free video calling and messaging app designed for kids. It is an app that can help kids foster healthy relationships and promote more positive social behaviors with adults and peers. Kids can laugh, play, make connections, and share valuable lessons learned in the classroom with friends and family everywhere!

Messenger Kids keeps meaningful relationships at the forefront, no matter how much distance exists. That in itself is a great emotional support and makes it an SEL win-win for me!

It empowers kids to express themselves, as they build their self-confidence and self awareness. Through creative and interactive stickers, GIFs, filters, games, and drawing tools, kids can create fun videos, decorate photos, and share meaningful conversations that spark laughter and joy with people who care about them! Take a look at the video below to see Messenger Kids in action!

Messenger Kids lets kids interact with supportive adults and friends while allowing them the opportunity to use technology in a responsible and positive way. Because of the many safety features built into the app, parents can rest easy as their children have fun because they have more control!

Unlike other places on the web, Messenger Kids only allows kids to chat with people that their parents approve, making it a safe and controlled environment for kids to engage in. As a parent, you never have to worry about what is being exchanged because the messages and content never disappear and can't be hidden. You can be confident that your child is interacting in meaningful, positive online communication all the time!

Messenger Kids is a resource I recently shared with my students' parents, providing them with a positive online tool that is Smart, Safe, and Social Emotionally supportive. It is easy to set up by following these simple steps:

1. Download the Messenger Kids app to your child's Wi-Fi enabled device. The app is available in the IOS App Store for iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone, in the Amazon Appstore for Fire tablets, and on Google Play for all other Andriod devices

2. Authenticate your child's device using your Facebook Login (This does not create a Facebook account for your child)

3. Create an account for your child by adding their name. Then hand the device over to your child, so they can start safely chatting with family and friends you approve

4. Parent controls are available in the Parent Portal in your main Facebook app. Through the parent portal, you can monitor who your kids chat and text with by adding and approving contacts and setting on and off times

As educators and parents, we all know the power of stumbling upon that moment that becomes the perfect teacher. Imagine all the teachable moments that kids will experience with YOU, grandma, grandpa, cousins, friends, classmates, etc. Priceless and entertaining moments that will create memories and establish positive messages for years to come!

Messenger Kids can help kids nurture and foster positive relationships, which is a valuable tool for them to have in their SEL toolboxes. The message of positivity is also one we want to make sure is part of a future we will not see.

Always SELebrate YOU,


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