Archives for April 16, 2013

News-O-Matic An awesome News App for Children ages 7-10!

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Looking for a safe and fun way to share the News with your child ages 7-10? I know that I personally don’t like my son to watch news on TV. So, I am excited to learn about an app that is geared towards children ages 7-10. It is available for the iPad or iPad Mini in the Apple App Store and you can try it for free and then pay for a subscription at a reasonable price of  weekly subscription: $1.99 + 1 week free (10 issues), monthly subscription$6.99 a month (22 issues) or $49.99  for a yearly subscription (260 issues). Press4Kids (P4K) launched in MARCH and News-O-Matic is an educational news app that covers breaking news, sports, science and much more in an accessible and kid-friendly way!

News-O-Matic is a week day newspaper application which includes five daily news stories, detailed images, videos, illustrations, maps, timelines and games. P4K’s objective is to inspire a generation of children to become habitual news readers and well-informed global citizens. What I really like is that this app also gives children a voice to express their views. Children can actually interact with the Editor-in-Chief by rating stories, drawing pictures, asking questions or expressing opinions about current topics in the “News Room” section of the app. I would have loved this as a child and it’s great to watch my 9-year-old son enjoying an app that is educational, safe & cool all at the same time! I really find it impressive that it teaches children about the top news stories in a safe educational way. News on TV can simply be too scary.

Created by a skilled team—including child experts, designers and entrepreneurs—News-O-Matic aims to transform the news experience for children in a safe, interactive environment while encouraging them to become knowledgeable, productive members of society.

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You can also visit www.press4kids.com for more information.  Make sure to like Press4Kids on Facebook and follow on Twitter for the latest updates.

Helpful Tips for Parents to address News Issues with their children Provided by Child Psychologist Dr. Phyllis Ohr

Making sense of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon yesterday can be quite a challenge for adults, let alone children. 

Children process these things differently.  They may be asking difficult questions and parents may need suggestions to help discuss what happened and address their concerns.

Fred Rogers from the long-running TV show, Mr. Rogers was quoted as saying, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” That is good advice from the wise Mrs. Rogers, but what if your children have questions and need more?

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Below are some helpful tips from Child Psychologist Dr. Phyllis Ohrfor Press4Kids’s News-O-Matic, the first educational, news app for children 7 to 10 years old. Dr. Ohr is also the Director of the Child and Parent Psychological Services Clinic at Hofstra and the Assistant Director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. 

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Here are some tips from Dr. Ohr for how parents can address news issues with children and what children can do to feel better:

1.       When the event does not personally affect the child, reassure them that everything is okay with the people they love and that nothing has changed for them.

2.    Be sure to stress to children that if they do have questions to ask parents, teachers as well as friends. Other children having the same feelings may be comforting.

3.    Begin by giving the child a brief synopsis of what happened by using age appropriate language. Ask if there is something they want to know more about or if they need something explained further. If so, stick to pointedly answering their question or clarifying. Do not add on or digress.

4.    Do not assume the news will make children feel a certain way. Ask if they know how they feel, but stress that kids feel all different ways when they hear important news and sometimes do not know how they feel or do not feel anything which is okay. However, if children are affected by it, it is their own feeling. Reassure children that no matter what they are feeling, their feelings are okay.

5.    If they are upset but don’t want to talk, suggest a fun activity for distraction or help them use calming skills like playing, drawing a picture or writing a story. These activities help release any upset feelings and make children feel better.