A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that tween and teen girls (especially those who are not already familiar with the message of the Girls Inc. non-profit organization) will likely find the overall message of Girls Inc. Online refreshing and empowering. The videos will provide inspiration for girls who want to dream big dreams and work toward them. That said, many girls who already use other social networking and blogging sites may find the pre-scripted goal-setting tool and the limited user-to-user communication rather stifling, causing their stay on the site not to last long. That's too bad, because there's a lot to learn here.
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Is it any good?
GIRLS INC. ONLINE is a supportive site with video testimonials of women sharing inspiring personal success stories. Tween and teen girls can watch the videos, set their own goals here, and be involved in a community that empowers girls to "envision their futures without limits." This site is the online companion of the well-established non-profit organization Girls Inc., which runs after-school and summer programs just for girls.
Girls can find solid information, inspiration, a "Girls' Bill of Rights," and more here. The videos about life goals and career choices are excellent for the older tween or teen audience, but some younger girls may find them too detailed and long to keep their attention. The one main shortfall of this overall excellent site is a lack of personal input and social interaction. The pre-scripted-only goal-setting and the minimal opportunity to interact with other girls about what they're doing makes the site extremely safe, but also limits options. Some girls may find this restrictive and a little boring.
Online interaction: No message boards or internal messages. Pre-scripted messages only.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how sites like this help girls counteract the multitude of stereotypes in the media that they encounter daily. Can visiting positive sites like this help create a more balanced view of the diversity of women's and girls' lives in our culture? Check out Common Sense Media's Battling Stereotypes Tips.
If your tween or teen asks about this site's lack of message boards and the decision to go with pre-scripted text, take that opportunity to discuss protecting personal online privacy with this Common Sense Media tipsheet.