Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Tired of Asking your Kids 'How Was School'? Your Smartphone Can Help You

By Povi Content Lab*

One of the most frustrating aspects about parenting is to deal with silent feelings. It's when you have no idea what is driving your kid to isolation, misbehavior or evasion _ or even over excitement. It's like to be "lost in translation" with no clue of what is happening in that universe of which you have absolutely no access. And probably that's why many parenting bloggers, specialists and psychologists are working lately on elaborating _ and sharing_ some questions that might facilitate or encourage kids to be able to talk about their emotions, recognizing what words would be able to express their sentiments.

"What do you love doing that makes you feel happiest?", suggests David K. William at Lifehack post 15 Questions To Ask Your Kids To Help Them Have Good Mindsets. The article in another source of encouragement for parents to deepen their conversation with their kids, in a positive way. "Some of these questions will also help you to enhance your relationship with your children and bond with them, while learning to better understand them.", writes William.

 Liz Evans, blogger from Simple Simon and Co, also shares her thoughts about changing the classic 'How was school today' questions. On her Huff Post article, she gives 25 ideas of conversation lines started by a question like "When were you the happiest today?". That is giving idea of how the feeling is described and how it could amplify the theme of feeling and how to name them.

There are endless possibilities on the art of being creative and develop an interesting conversation with your kid. For example, there's Momastery post about the question jar with 48 questions: Here is the Key to Unlocking your Child's Heart, had more than 770 K shares and 197 K likes at Facebook, showing that there's nothing wrong to add more creativity on parents' conversation with children, and how to interact bringing more feelings to the table.

We all love these questions. We collect the 15 questions, 25 questions, and 48 questions. We printed them out and magnet them to our refrigerators! When we are looking for a conversation starter for the day, we stand in front of the refrigerator to browse through the lists and decide which one we would use for the day.

Wouldn't it be nice to use our modern day technology to help us? Since we are using smartphones and they are a must-have in our lives. So why not to use it? Have the question be sent to our smartphones, optimized to our kids age and the developmental areas that we want to focus on? We no longer have to browse through the 5 lists we keep on papers daily to decide which question to ask? A question is sent to us as notification at the time that's most convenient to us that also serves as a reminder for us to "Start having you conversation now".

We are going to be picking up our kid at 6pm, perhaps set the reminder to 5:45pm so that we receive the question and be able to start using it on our drive home? We are going to be having dinner at 7pm, perhaps open the app to view the 3 questions picked for us on that day, and choose one to use as interesting dinner time conversation topic? How about bed time routine? Reading is so important, storytelling too. How about after the reading routine, when the kid is relaxed and getting ready to sleep, establish the eye contact and the closeness by asking him another question?

If we don't like the question, we can decide to refresh and find more. Our smartphone is with us most of the time, in the car, close to the dinner table, next to the bed. We can have access to these questions at any time.

Povi Family Connect app, released for beta users on both App Store and Google Play, is offering a digital solution for easy access of amazing questions to be asked, allowing parents to write an online journal about their experiences, and explaining which category each question belongs to by age group. You can set up the frequency and schedule when you wish to receive the questions.

One of the categories is exactly about Emotion Recognition. As Seow Lim,  POVI founder and top beta user of the app explains, "This app helps me to also think for what's the best way for me to start a non routine conversation? Invest in more thoughts prior to the conversation, yes, our kids require that extra 1-2 minutes of thinking from us. Instead of the normal how's your school, if my question of the day is, if you can be someone for a day, who would you like to be? I need to think for a bit on how to get that conversation started. Like, have you been studying about Martin Luther King Jr., do you think he is an incredible person? You like Science, do you admire Einstein? We all need to know your child well enough to get that conversation started. And the more conversation we have, the better we know our kids to start the next one. That already helps us grow".

If you love the lists of questions to ask your kids beyond asking "How's your day at school?", and like to try out an easier way to get access to a rich library of questions digitally via your smartphone, you are invited to be the beta user of Povi Family Connect app (link to App store and Google Play). Povi team tirelessly make Povi family connect app available to parents, families and friends because we believe that there is nothing more important than cultivating wholesome, happy and successful children. We want to help! We already have lots of amazing early beta users providing us their wishlist.

We would greatly appreciate your inputs and feedback after using the app on areas that we could improve on. If you would like to provide your comments and find out more about new features that are coming, please contact Seow Lim at

* Povi's Content Lab is composed by a group of thinkers who are always getting updated about the latest trends on Emotional Intelligence. Our team also admin the facebook group Emotional Intelligence for Kids. Join our community.

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