I frequently get emails from sites that want me to promote their products on this website. I pay for my hosting and server stuff so I rarely post about stuff and “give away” free advertising unless I truly believe in something. I think most mom blogs feel the same way and we are pretty protective over what we will allow on our pages.

A little over a week ago, I received an email from the makers of the website Galactokidz.com telling me how it’s an interactive place for tweens that want to chat, completely COPPA compliant (above and beyond their standards, actually), and how it’s a safe haven for kids that want to play games, make friends and chat safely. I receive lots of notices about sites like these and I do take the time to check out the sites that come my way. This one was intriguing to me because it’s still in beta and there are a lot of great features.

What I like about Galactokidz.com was that, as a parent, I have full access to what my kid is doing when he’s on the website. There are moderators on the site at all times, also known as tour guides, so if the kids have questions they can feel free to ask. Also, my son feels safe and comfortable navigating the site and making friends there. Because it’s still in beta, there is no cost for my readers to join now, though there will be a cost in the future.

I’ve let AJ play this for the last week and he’s been hooked on it. The rules are very clear in that children are not allowed to talk about specifics about their lives and it honestly makes the site more fun for them and less stressful for me as a parent. AJ hasn’t had any difficulty with it and he has enjoyed being about to talk to other tweens about his day, their favorite sports, and their favorite games on the site. The consistency of having the tour guide there every day provides the consistency of having an adult for some kids that may not have one.

At one point, I logged on to grab a picture for this post and let AJ know that tour guide was the only one hanging out in a room and he immediately ran to get his computer because he didn’t want “tour guide” to get lonely. While there are plenty of bad things about chat rooms, they can also endorse empathy and help children learn how to relate to other people. There is no profanity allowed and children are held to strict boundaries while on the site and those are enforced. Children excel when given boundaries and they feel safe with them. This site gives them the opportunity to experience friendship within friendly boundaries.

So far, I can’t find any downsides to Galactokidz.com. As with all websites, keep a close eye on your kid, don’t allow them to give out personally identifiable information and be aware that at some point the site may charge for access, so if that happens, you may choose to disable your child’s account. What a great opportunity for the young ones that don’t have sites like facebook to be like their older siblings!