(NewsNation Now) — As most every parent knows, teaching kids about safety can be hard, but getting them to play a computer game is easy.
Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, just launched two new online games that are part of a series designed to help kids be kind, be respectful, be safe and have fun.
The company launched Pledge Planets on Messenger Kids, an activity to help kids learn how to use the internet safely and practice making healthy decisions online.
“So many parents don’t try to teach their kids these important lessons until there’s a problem or until there’s something alarming,” Ericka Souter, parenting expert and author of the book “How to Have a Kid and a Life: A Survival Guide,” said during an appearance on “Morning in America”.
“What we need to do is kind of get there from the beginning and start teaching them from the beginning what is acceptable,” she said. “These are really important critical life skills.”
Meta has already rolled out its first episode, “Be Kind,” in all locations where Messenger Kids is available, with new episodes that focus on the other pledges coming soon.
In “Be Kind,” there are two games, Rough Reviews, and Order Up, where players are introduced to the owner of a sandwich shop. Through the two games, kids learn and practice how to act with kindness as players must help match the correct online response to customers’ reviews.
Souter has already tried out Rough Reviews with her youngest son.
“He’s looking at it and trying to learn what is acceptable and what’s not acceptable, what is nice and what is not nice,” she said. “And he’s at that age where those lessons are really important.
In Order Up, players build a virtual sandwich by selecting the emojis that best respond to a customer’s mood.
“One really amazing thing about this app and how it was created is that they used youth advisers and internet safety experts and parenting experts to put this together to make sure that children were getting the best possible learning tool,” Souter said.
With kids just looking to be entertained, parents sneaking in some education in online safety is really just the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down.
Watch the full interview with Ericka Souter in the video player at the top of the page.