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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

App Review: News-O-Matic Daily for Kids By Press4Kids

Making sense of the current tragedies around the world from the Boston marathon bombings, to the Oklahoma City Tornadoes to the recent terrorist attack in London can be quite a challenge for adults, let alone children. As parents know, 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. Since directing them to the New York Times to read about it or any other news source is not an option, Press4Kids developed News-O-Matic.

News-O-Matic is an interactive DAILY newspaper for kids! It's a great educational news app that covers breaking news, sports, science and much more in an accessible and kid-friendly way. The app is free to download.

Targeted to kids ages 7-10, News-O-Matic is a weekday 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.

News-O-Matic gives children the opportunity to explore the latest current events through the app, while also giving them a voice to express their views. Children can 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.

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.

Here are some tips from Dr. Phyllis Ohr, Child Psychologist for Press4Kids, on 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.

Dr. Ohr is available to discuss these tips in further detail, as well as address any additional questions on how to talk to your children.

Disclosure: I will be receiving perks in exchange of my review in this post from the PR Firm / Company. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of other consumers.

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