Parenting Hero, a spinoff of the book ‘How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen,’ will help moms and dads handle tantrums, drama and other kid conflicts better
Need help parenting? There’s an app for that.
The newly designed Parenting Hero was made to make family life easier by helping moms and dads communicate better with their kids so an argument or tantrum doesn’t have to end in a screaming match.
The gamified self help was created in partnership with the authors of “How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7” Joanna Faber and Julie King, and features comic strip-like illustrations of various scenarios with dialogues about bedtime battles, food fights or sibling strife and how to react to them. It’s available for $4.99 at the App Store.
“We tried to hit on the most common conflicts that come up between parents and kids,” says Faber, who wrote up the dialogue with King based on real life experiences she’s heard from parents and experienced herself as a mother of three.
Unlike the book, which features topics and tips, the app features 1,500 interactive role playing situations with illustrations that correspond with a problem, like a kid not eating their dinner or throwing a fit in the mall over a toy. Parents must choose from answers on how they would respond. For example, one scenario features a child banging on pots and pans in the kitchen pretending to be a drummer while a parent — presumably with a headache — tries to work. The app features graphics that ask you to choose one of three ways to handle the situation like telling your kid to knock it off, yelling at them to stop or being more reasonable by saying something like: “I see! You really enjoy drumming. The problem is, it’s too loud for me.”
“You can read a book, and it sounds so great when you’re sitting in your comfy chair, but then when your kids start fighting everything goes out the window. This is something you access in the moment,” says Faber of why she decided to develop the app with Poland-based education startup Mythic Owl.
Parenting Hero was made to help adults understand the roller coaster of emotions their little ones experience. Two hot button topics are dealing with praise and punishment. Faber hopes to help parents give their kids useful feedback as opposed to simply praising their every move with compliments like “that is great,” or “that’s perfect.” The app also has a unique approach to punishing a child.
“The most challenging thing we ask parents to do is to try alternatives to punishment because in our experience, punishing kids has so many negative effects — there’s so much frustration and resentment, and thoughts of vengeance on the kids’ part. We give alternatives on working with your kids, not against them. It’s about feeling collaborative instead of feeling resent. Punishment is a real short term solution,” says Faber.
The self help app joins a variety of other parenting apps available, like ChoreMonster, a tool that lets parents make a list of chores for their kids and have them earn points for what gets done, and Talkspace, which connects parents with a licensed therapist to talk through issues and feelings like postpartum depression.
Parenting Hero will be available on other platforms next month, and updates to the app will include new scenarios based on feedback from parents.
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