New App Supporting Parents Through Challenging Moments

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Guest Blogger, Tomasz Mularczyk

As a teenager, I used to surreptitiously read the parental guidebook “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish – mostly just to be able to see through all the tricks my parents were using, but also because of the hand-drawn scenes which were interesting by themselves. When my first child was born I found myself attending a workshop based on the book series and later saw in practice how effectively and help those suggestions actually were. Fast forward a decade and I’m a father of three kids and a wonderful book for every fresh parent – “How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen” by Adele Faber’s daughter, Joanna Faber and Julie King hits the stores.

I’m very excited that it is now accompanied by Parenting Hero”, an iOS app that my studio has developed in cooperation with Joanna Faber and Julie King. “Parenting Hero” uses the proven methods from the book and I see it as fast and modern way to learn and practice without hurting my own children. Hand-drawn comics similar to the ones in the book series allow the user to play out typical parenting challenges and choose how best to respond, giving parents new strategies for handling common conflicts with kids.

“Parenting Hero” offers effective solutions for everyday challenges with children, and since I see how many times I’ve already used it, I’m sure it will help parents form a more joyful relationship with their kids. The app includes 15 different situations represented in the form of short scenes and 45 solutions to the presented issues along with tips and comments. The application covers a variety of topics, i.e. preventing violence between children, supporting their development and helping to build up their self-esteem and I hope it will be a valuable tool for helping families become more harmonious and less of a battleground.

Click here to download Parenting Hero from App Store

Android users will have a discounted rate for $2.99 starting tomorrow, 1/10/18.

Related Article:

Gifts and the ungrateful child: 4 tips to improve your holiday experience 

 

 

 

Gifts and the Ungrateful Child: 4 Tips to Improve Your Holiday Experience

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Guest Bloggers, Joanna Faber and Julie King from How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen

Have your kids been known to announce, upon opening a gift, “I already have this!” or angrily declare, “I don’t like it!” or even burst into tears, causing great distress to the startled giver and great embarrassment to the hapless parent?

It’s hard not to be horrified by such behavior, or to question our own parenting, worrying that we’ve brought up greedy, spoiled brats. The urge is to lecture them about all the less-fortunate children in the world, or to punish them by suspending future gift-giving until they learn to show some gratitude. However appealing these tactics may seem, none of them tend to create the grateful child of our dreams.

As we head into the potentially hazardous season of gift exchange, now is a good time to start preparing children to be gracious gift recipients and head off hurt feelings and mortification. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1) Start by Acknowledging Feelings

At a neutral time, talk with your kids about getting presents that are disappointing. You can share memories from your own childhood when you were disappointed, or even offended, by a present you received – the toy that was “too babyish,” or the sweater that was downright ugly. Talk about how hard it is to be polite when you expect something wonderful and get something you don’t want. This is a good time (when your child is not in a state of emotional distress) to point out that, after all, the gift giver was thinking of you and trying to please you, and it’s important not to make that person feel bad.

2) Problem Solve with your Child

Devise a plan with your kids for how to handle a disappointing gift. Can your child have a special signal he can give you to let you know he’s disappointed? What will he say to the gift giver? Perhaps a simple, “Thank you so much!” or, “It was so nice of you to bring me a gift!”

3) Make it a Game

Practice for the big moment by playing the “Present Giving Game.” Your child can find something thoroughly unappealing to wrap and give to you (a rock, a spoon, a cup of dirt.) Now your challenge is to unwrap it and say something nice (“Oh, look at this beautiful rock. It’s so hard and smooth, I’ll use it as a paperweight…” or “Wow, what a shiny spoon. I can’t wait to stir my tea with it…” or “This dirt is just what I need to plant my flower seeds.”). Now reverse the challenge and wrap something icky for your child to open.

Here’s a variation on the theme — you can give a “terrible” response: “Oh no, not another dirty tissue; I already have so many of these.” “I hate this kind of broken crayon. You wasted your money!” “I wanted a different color; why didn’t you buy me a green one?” “Ok, thanks. What else did you get me?” Your child can have a laugh at your expense and then she can instruct you on what you should have said!

4) Adjust your expectations

Try to reduce the frenzy of anticipation. Living with shiny, wrapped presents under the tree for days can be too much for some youngsters. A child’s imagination can go wild trying to guess what is in that box. The reality often cannot measure up. All the wondrous possibilities suddenly disappear! Some children do better when told ahead of time what they are going to get.

Another way to take the pressure off of gift giving is to emphasize special activities such as cookie baking, games or making holiday crafts. Some kids do better when the emphasis is on making gifts for other people in their family. Then you can model the behavior you hope to see in the future from your child (“Ooh, what a colorful picture! I’m going to put it next to my bed, so it makes me happy when I open my eyes in the morning.”)

We’re not trying to take the joy out of celebrating with gifts. Your child’s ability to handle anticipation and appreciate surprises will blossom with age. In the meantime, do whatever works best for your family!

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Joanna Faber and Julie King are internationally acclaimed experts on communication between adults and children. They are the authors of the best-selling book “How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7″ and have recently co-authored Parenting Hero which is a new iOS app developed by MythicOwl. Parenting Hero helps parents form joyful relationships with their kids by role-playing many common situations, viewing the hand-drawn animated comics and choosing their responses to the problems.

Click here to learn more about the Parenting Hero app.

Texting And Driving: 4 Apps That Will Keep Your Teen Safe On The Road

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Guest Blogger, Meghan Belnap
Without any doubt, texting while driving is dangerous. Distracted driving is a leading cause of auto accidents and texting is a dangerous distraction. Car accident attorneys in Toledo know all about the sticky problems texting while driving can cause on a person and their vehicle record going forth. Texting while driving is dangerous for anyone, but for teenagers who are dedicated to texting friends night and day under any circumstances, the danger is even higher. Fortunately, in our app-filled world, there are smartphone apps that can protect teenage drivers who want to text while driving in spite of the danger.

1. Textecution

Take a firm hand to teen’s texting while driving with this app. It locks the phone while the car is running. Parents can receive an alert if the app is disabled, such as in case of accident or if the car is parked. Parents are also told if the app is removed from the phone. The app can also be used to disable Internet access and email. For iPhone, Android, and Windows phone. This app is $29.99.

2. Sprint Drive First                      

Sprint Drive First is a free app with big benefits. This app prevents teenagers from texting while driving by blocking texts and email while a vehicle is traveling at more than 10 miles per hour. Even while texts and emails are blocked, GPS and music will continue to function. This prevents teens from getting distracted while the car is moving, and the app is free and offered by Sprint.

3. Drivesafe.ly Pro

This app allows someone to operate their cell phone in hands-free mode. With Drivesafe.ly Pro, a teenager can send and receive texts, as well as email, using just their voice. Even if this may still distract a teen driver to an extent, it is still far safer than having the teen use his or her hands for texting. The app is available for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry at a cost of $13.95 per year or $3.99 per month.

4. Drivescribe 

Drivescribe is like having a driving coach traveling with your teenager. This app watches over your teen’s driving and issues awards for safe driving, and points at the end of the trip. Teens who save the points can trade them in at Amazon and for gift cards. Best of all, this award winning app is free. The app is also available for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.

These are not the only apps designed for this purpose. Go to Google and search for “apps to stop teen texting while driving.” There are quite a few apps to fit the purpose, but these apps are proven effective and you can count on them. There is no need for a teenager to text while driving, even if they would insist that there is. Driving is dangerous enough all by itself even without texting. The texting-while-driving habit in teens can be broken and these apps can help to do that.