Friday, August 5, 2011

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Kidzworld Provides a Safe Social Network for Kids Ages 9 to 14


Although our oldest is son is still a year and a half away from officially becoming a "tween", he is extremely computer-literate and has been using a laptop since the age of two.  Needless to say, I already have my eyes peeled for a safe social network for kids.  Some may think I am being too proactive, but since he has already asked for a Facebook account, I would have to disagree.  He also enjoys chatting online, but sooner or later, he is going to realize that chatting with his parents is just not going to be enough anymore.  When that time comes, I will most likely register our son on a site like Kidzworld rather than Facebook.


Kidzworld offers tweens and teens free online games, news, trivia, videos, and more about their favorite celebrities, shows, movies, sports, . . . you name it.  This site even has a whole section devoted to school-related topics.  There are also boards for posting about anything from food to jokes and riddles to extreme sports. The Kidzworld Zone tab conveniently gives you a summary of the most recent activities sitewide.

What is wonderful about a social network for kids is that there is some anonymity, so kids are more comfortable to be themselves and speak their minds.  On the same note, you just never know who is really behind each screen name.  This brings us to the topic of chatting, something that concerns parents the most.  Direct chatting or chat rooms allows a child to really put themselves out there.  Although it can be fun, it also makes the child vulnerable to strangers.  Kidzworld protects their users by prohibiting harassment, discrimination, spamming, swearing, rude, gross, or offensive comments, sexually explicit comments, and yelling (i.e. typing in all caps).  Most importantly, there is a reminder on each page warning kids not to give out any personal or identifying information.  The chat room is only open during set hours so that it can be closely moderated.  There is also an "ignore" feature if one member no longer wants to hear from another.

As a parent, I would feel comfortable to allow my son to become a member of Kidzworld when he turns 9.  There seems to be enough rules in place to prevent bullying and other things that can negatively affect a child.  Of course, I would need to pay attention during my son's first few sessions in the chat room until I am satisfied that the moderators are doing their jobs well by keeping the environment free of bullies and predators.

To learn more about the Kidzworld social network, visit Kidzworld.com and Kidzworld on Facebook.