Parenting tweens and teens is a different challenge than parenting younger kids. Kids this age are more independent, which is good, but sometimes makes it hard for them to accept whatever we are trying to teach them. It is especially challenging when it comes to social and emotional skills. That is why I am very interested in learning the new app IF… – a game app aiming at tweens and teens on their SEL skills. SEL stands for Social and Emotional Learning. It is a free app, so everyone can try it.
The app is a role play app. Upon opening the app, kids are invited to the place called Greenberry. Your child will be entering the game as a dog. Kids can design their own avatar, which is always fun.
During the game, kids will encounter different characters and interact with them. They will be asked to finish tasks to rebuild Greenberry. During the play, kids can choose how they want to respond in most situations. For example, when the child is asked to help vims, who are in danger, the child can choose from 3 answers: “No, I am new and I don’t know how”; “If I get paid, I want some vim”; “Yes, if I can. I would be happy to help”. The game will play along based on the answer the kid gives.
The app will record the child’s actions throughout the game play. Different strategies will be used to teach kids different social skills based on their responses to different situations. Skills emphasized in the game include: managing emotions like frustration and disappointment, showing empathy for others, persisting through failure, collaborating with others, and making good decisions. At intervals in the game, characters in the game will ask kids to stop playing and try out the skills and strategies they’ve been modeling, such as breathing exercises to calm down and win-win strategies to resolve conflicts.
If you sign up for a free parent account, you will receive updates on what your children are doing in the game. You’ll see what skills they are learning, and how you can help: from simple discussion questions, to games, books and activities.
This app is a great tool for tweens and teens to learn important social and emotional skills. It is also a great tool for parents to better understand their kids on aspects that kids won’t or can’t tell parents. It helps parents see where kids need help and offers parents handy solutions and tools to help kids make necessary improvements. All these are done while kids are having fun playing games.
IF… works on iPad. It is free to download with first chapter for free. But it is a long chapter, definitely worth a try if you have a tween or teen at home.
If you are looking for apps that help younger kids on social and emotional development, try iLearn with Poko – helping kids on social and emotional development.
If you would like to check it out or purchase it, please use the App Store link provided below. The cost is the same to you, but iGameMom gets a small percentage. Thanks for your support! Note: The link works for all countries.