Using this article, I wish to walk you through what you need to know about setting up a Messenger Kids account for your children, including any information you need to keep them as safe as possible when chatting online.
Hey, it is Frankie here again with another guide for the parents. Today, I want the guide you through the steps of configuring an account on Messenger Kids.
Facebook Messenger recently launched a kid-friendly app designed to become a safe space for children to socialize in the same manner that adults can use the Messenger app. This promotes above all else, the safety of the children involved.
This app can be used on iPhones, iPads, and all of the Android operating systems.
Make sure to read the article completely, as you will need all of the information I have to provide.
It will be the most comprehensive guide on this topic and provide all that you need to get this process underway.
Ready to get started?
Let’s take a minute and learn about how to set up and manage an account in this new app.
Facebook Messenger Kids might appear challenging to set up at first, but really once you learn the basics, it is easy to get started and continue to use. Be mindful that this app is not available in every country. Check here to see if you can use it in your area.
Setting Up a Messenger Kids Account
Below, you will find a step-by-step guide on creating in account with Facebook Messenger Kids.
1. Download Messenger Kids
You will need to go to the Apple Store or the Google Play store and access the application. You can do this through your Android mobile phone or tablet, as well as iOS devices.
This account is meant to be used by children, and that’s why you will need to log into the account as a parent or guardian, using your own Facebook account credentials instead.
This will include your email as well as any passwords created to use on this account.
2. Enter your child’s full name
Next, you will enter your child’s name and date of birth. This is required to create an account. Also, this will to be able to sync with other people who will have the ability to access and manage the app, such as another parent.
There will be an option allowing you to update your contact list. By selecting this, any family members or friends can link their accounts to this account.
Fill in necessary details. You might consider updating the status about their education and upload a profile photo.
This will also be beneficial in helping others find them quickly when they are meant to be friends.
You must accept terms and conditions to say that you agree to the rules set up by the administrative community of Facebook Messenger and you will not misuse the app in select ways.
3. Send a child’s friends requests
You can send a request to other children to link with your own through this account.
On the other side, they will receive a notification about your intention to add them as a friend, which will only be approved by the person managing the account.
After accepting the request, it will make it easier to start a conversation and send different emojis, animations, and gifs.
You can also consider inviting the friends who are not already using Messenger Kids by sending requests to their parents’ accounts. This encourages them to allow an account setup so children can communicate with their friends from school.
4. Add trusted family members like aunts, uncles, or grandparents
It takes a village.
The more eyes and concerned parties you have connected to this account and its activities, the better you will feel about letting your child use it freely.
You might also consider keeping in touch with the parents of the friends your child has added to their account. This helps to make sure they continue to monitor this account and that they are in fact the overseers of the profile.
Be mindful of impersonation, because you could allow your child to use this application and link with their friend, but it is just an impostor with the same credentials that might have ill intentions. That is why touching base with the parents can be a beneficial step in this regard.
You might also consider adding relatives to your account so that they can help monitor activities.
5. You can add nicknames for a child’s benefit
Your child might not always call a relative by their full legal name. You might instead, choose a better way to save them to their contact lists.
This helps them to reach out quickly to those they wish to speak to, including their friends, allowing interaction to happen quickly without challenge.
6. Add a second parent to manage the account
Everyone can be busy. And if you do not have enough time to properly manage your child’s account on this app, you need to entrust another guardian to help you.
The account offers management features that are only accessible from your Messenger account.
Having another guardian help to manage this account is necessary to keep a watchful eye on the people they communicate with and the time they are interacting with people online.
7. Use a 4-code feature
If you use codes on Messenger Kids, you enable a 4-word code your child shares with their friends. Their friends use these codes specifically to request being a contact on your child’s list.
The parents of your child’s friends will see your child’s name, their photo, and who is managing the account to contact you directly if anyone is taking my advice about reaching out to connected parents.
It is important that you explain that your involvement in managing the account is to make sure that interactions are healthy and safe, not so that you can intrude on their privacy.
How Can You Manage the Messenger Kids Account?
Once the account is set up and operational, you need to manage it regularly. This is done to inform you about who they are interacting with and how they engage with others.
You can see all of this from the Parent Dashboard.
To access the Parent Dashboard from a computer, follow these steps:
- Login to your Facebook account – when you see the home tab, you have the option to choose “Messenger Kids.” If this is not visible, click to “See More…” and scroll the list until you can click on that prompt.
- Click your child’s name on the left with the accounts you manage – Remember: some Parent Dashboard features are only available using a mobile device
You have control over the account to ensure that they are engaging with others in a safe and preferred way.
From this dashboard, you will be able to:
- Add and remove friends and contacts from your child’s list.
- Supervise conversations
- Edit details of your child’s profile including their name, gender, and date of birth.
- Establish a sleep mode to only allow the use of the app for a specific length of time.
- Remove images.
- Multiple other features.
That is all for the technical side. You have the account set up how you would like it now.
Since you are probably new to this app, I want to go into a bit of an overview about it. Continue reading through the next paragraphs to find out more.
When you reach the Parent Dashboard, you can have complete control over your child’s Messenger account. If you take the time to set it up appropriately, there is nothing you need worry about – it is actually a blessing for the parents.
Getting Started with a Messenger Kids Account
Coming to learn about Messenger Kids for the first time?
I want to give you an overview of the app and its features so that you are more confident in your decision moving forward.
I have covered some of the questions and essential details of the service in the paragraphs below, allowing you to have all the information you need. This includes some dos and don’ts for the messaging app as well.
What is a Messenger Kids account?
This is a profile that can be made on a free service allowing children to connect with one another, make calls, and send messages.
This is not local, as it can span different geographical areas, including voice and video calls.
The construction of this service is definitely geared towards ease-of-use for a child, including several kid-friendly features. It also features parental control overrides to safeguard the child when interacting.
In a safe and controlled digital space like Facebook Messenger Kids, children can interact without as much concern.
What can you do with the app?
I will describe several of the features so you can get an idea about their usefulness in your household.
Signing up for an account immediately grants full access for the parents or guardians to operate and oversee the connected child’s account.
The manager can create the account, make any changes or edit its information, and even block or remove contacts when they see fit. A parent has full range of action with the contacts list, being able to add/approve contacts and delete them.
With complete access, parents do not have to worry or fret about who their child is speaking to, the conversation had, or activity they might be engaged in. This can even protect your child from the increasingly popular cyber bullying or harassment.
Emojis and graphics are a large part of the messaging platform for kids. These interactions are vast, allowing a child to stay engaged and have a creative outlet at the same time.
Children can benefit here from being able to speak and interact without necessarily typing out full text to do that.
If you wish to interact with multiple people at the same time, group chats are the way to do this.
With Messenger Kids, children can create different groups for socializing and sharing their ideas without having to individually address each contact in a direct chat sense.
For tutors and organized class meetings, this has become one of the most helpful features.
Group chats can keep your child connected to the happenings of their social circles when they might be grounded, away from the house, or unable to interact in other ways at the moment.
While you might encourage your child to talk to their friends regularly, it can be important to understand the control you have about how much time gets spent by your child in Messenger Kids.
Through activating sleep mode, after a designated time, no features on Messenger Kids are accessible.
To access sleep mode, click on the Parent Control Center within the settings of Messenger Kids.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages is that you can control when the app can be used.
Since some schools allow children to have their phones, you can limit their access to these services during school hours.
Games and Filters
Filters are on plenty of platforms right now, so it is no surprise they made their way to Messenger Kids as well. This is a way to make video calls more fun and playful.
You have appealing filters, as well as cartoon, animal, and object options.
Messaging app games are also becoming more common and popular, and with the Messenger Kids app, these options have been deemed safe for a child’s interaction and involvement. Some options even allow contacts to be competitive.
Children can interact with their contacts with these games, discuss their outcomes, and predicted games for future updates.
Is Messenger Kids Safe?
Why wouldn’t you just choose a regular Messenger account for your kids?
With Messenger Kids, you get several security features to keep them safe.
Let’s take a look at some of the features that keep this app kid-friendly:
1. The linking of accounts
This app is designed for kids that are younger than thirteen.
For this reason, those signing up must do so through a parent/guardians existing Messenger account.
This link is meant to control interaction and other features the child should not be allowed to modify or manipulate on their own.
It is important, though, to help your child understand why this is necessary. You are getting this access to keep them safe and allow them to build a social network with their peers in a controlled environment.
2. Setting time limits
Worried about how much time your young one will spend on the app?
You get to set this time limit as you see fit.
This is known as sleep mode, and it turns on/off based on the time you set. You can deactivate features when this cap point gets reached.
Controlling this setting lets you ensure that your child is not pulled away from their homework, time you wish them to be out in the world, or other obligations.
Parents will be happy with this feature to help curb any excessive time their child might be spending on social media platforms.
Are There Benefits to a Messenger Kids Account?
You cannot compare the kid’s version of Facebook Messenger to the legitimate service for this social media platform. One is structured exclusively to safeguard kids and their interactions with others.
There are several benefits to choosing this type of account for your child when they are interested in chatting with their friends.
1. Parental Control
One of the main reasons developers designed this app in the first place is to provide a controlled interaction space for children under the age of 13. There are multiple downsides of social media already, one of them being the threat of cyber bullying.
As such, Facebook Messenger Kids accounts allow parents to access the interactions made by their children with others. They can choose who their children are allowed to interact with on this service.
Spending too much time on social media is not great for children, so you will also be able to limit the time that they spend on this messaging application. Ultimately, this allows them to focus on other things and not just spend every waking moment connected with someone else.
2. A Space for Healthy Interaction
Parents can access their child’s accounts, meaning that they can see when unhealthy communication is happening and put a stop to it. Parents have the option to block any contact they wish.
You can also report users for harassment and bullying. The administrative community will investigate and will limit the aggressor’s account and can even prohibit them from interacting with others for a designated period of time.
3. Fun Integrated Social Media Features
The account will have several features that make it perfect for kids to use. They will have the ability to add filters to their calls, play games with children that are their contacts, and more.
Filters can be used to create fun images and change one’s appearance to do video calling. With the account allowing group chatting, it is easy for large groups of friends to speak together.
You can also use animated themes and emojis to make communication even more fun and unique. Kids today consider plain text boring, so having these animated options can be fun.
It is possible that this could be used to reflect on things taught at school, especially in the group chat settings. This could be relevant to reinforcing lessons from their school day.
For example, this platform will be good for sharing files, books, recorded audio, and podcasts. You can assess these files to be certain they are not harmful, inappropriate, or irrelevant to your child.
4. Gadget Compatibility
Because of the versatility of this app, it can be used on mobile phones, tablets, and iPads. Because of the high compatibility, you don’t have to go out of your way to get new devices just for your kids to use this service.
Depending on the authorization you give, a child will be able to access the same account across multiple devices as you see fit.
This differs from other applications of similar styles that might limit their use to specific operating systems, making it difficult for children of varying social statuses to access them together.
This made with enhanced security features like the passcode that only allow respective users to access content. This is a good way to start teaching your child about protecting their privacy and security through additional measures.
The account is one method of positive social interaction that keeps these conversations and engagements occurring in a safe and controlled environment that is healthy for children. Multiple features of the application make it easy for children connect and interact with each other and family members.
It can be helpful to have your child work through the application with you, and by understanding the access you have and control over the environment, they can be more responsible with their conversations and what is shared.
We have taken the time to discuss in great detail the importance and some of the benefits of setting up a Messenger Kids account for your children.
I consider it a blessing for parents who were tired of being annoyed by their children wanting to chat with their friends, but not having a safe area to do so.
Facebook Messenger Kids allows children to keep in contact with their friends without as much concern for predators and bullies with the integration for parental oversight.
As we have seen, it’s not hard to set up an account for this service, but it will take a little bit of patience and time. If you do happen to have difficulties or questions, do not hesitate to leave a message below and I will be getting back with you as soon as I can.
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