An appropriate penpal matching service for an idealistic tween
September 15, 2019 10:33 AM   Subscribe

So, the young human who lives in my house wants a penpal. She's a wholesome, happy tween. And we want to keep her that way. She says she "just wants to connect with and learn about someone else who has a different life." I'm thinking another tween, maybe someone outside the US who wants to practice their English. How do we find this person and connect them, without accidentally exposing her to a chester-chester child molester or something?
posted by pomegranate to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There is this AskMe from a while back: Foreign Language Pen Pals. That might have some ideas to follow up on.
posted by ralan at 10:44 AM on September 15, 2019

I would absolutely start by blasting this into to my friends and family via email, Facebook, etc. Probably someone you know has a friend or family member they know who can help make this connection...which seems safer to me to begin with.

After that, I'd have the parameter that they should send actual letters to each other, and those are easy enough for you to look over.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:57 AM on September 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

The child of a friend of friends is the easiest way. I would not use an online matching service for a child to be honest.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:51 AM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I am just a mefite whom you don't know, but your tween is welcome to penpal young DTMFA (12 year old girl)! We are in Canada so not sure if that's quite what you're looking for, but feel free to memail me if interested. I have a high level of child molester fear myself, and agree with BlahLaLa that letters should be paper/pen not online communication.
posted by DTMFA at 12:03 PM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Swap-bot might be good for this.
posted by shadygrove at 12:04 PM on September 15, 2019

I'm in Tassie, happy to ask around of you like; either locally or in my expat group.

You could also try New Moon Magazine - they used to do pen pals, and have an online community / FB now which may be a way. Regardless, she'd probably enjoy it and you can download a free issue.
posted by jrobin276 at 4:50 PM on September 15, 2019

I went in search of the organization that connected me with MY penpal, back in 1982 (and we're still in contact today). It's closed, but the tribute page to that organization points you to this facebook group. Worth a look.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:07 PM on September 15, 2019

I've heard good things about International Geek Girls Pen Pals Club. However, they make no claims about screening out creepers and only encourage people to email several times until they are comfortable swapping info and maybe also connecting on facebook first.
posted by carrioncomfort at 7:32 AM on September 16, 2019

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