Key Facts of Life App
“Facts Of Life Interactive” is the second in a series of Apps developed by Child Psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts to help caregivers broach uncomfortable or challenging subjects with little ones. This new App is fun, engaging and interactive, while preserving the educational values embedded the first App, “The Facts of Life.”
It is never too early to start talking with children about the facts of life, this App will help parents and children discuss sexual education in a fun, yet appropriate, way.
“What It’s All About”
In order to keep children safe, it is important for families to open the line of communication about key facts of life with their children at a young age. Through a partnership between the University of Victoria and Orca Book Publishers, Dr. Jillian Roberts created
Key Facts of Life Apps and the Just Enough Series to help parents and children tackle these sometimes difficult topics. The Apps and the book series are written to answer the questions children often have about life, and are paced carefully to appeal to the way a young mind processes information.
Why both? The book series and the new App are designed to complement each other. Together, these tools allow parents and children to explore information on difficult topics in a way that allows the child or parent to pace the flow. Both model a natural way for children to ask questions and give parents the words to describe the key facts of life. Dr. Jillian Roberts developed the Apps and the book series together so that parents and children can use these tools like a set of keys that unlock important information one step at a time.
Books in the Just Enough Series
The Just Enough Series is a book series also created to help caregivers answer difficult questions their children may have about life. Where Do Babies Come From? is the first book in the Just Enough Series.
Far from being exhaustive, the books in this series contain just enough information to facilitate a meaningful first conversation—an entry point into the topic that is gentle and accessible.
Series topics include Birth and Conception (Fall 2015), Death and Grieving (Spring 2016), Cultural Diversity (Fall 2016) and Separation and Divorce (Spring 2017).
Andrea Mayo (Illustrator)
Andrea Mayo is thrilled to be contributing graphics for another installment of the Facts of Life App. A Production Manager by day in BC's Animation industry, her background includes projects in mobile game design, mobile business development, television, and, feature film. Facilitating the communication of difficult health topics in an entertaining manner has allowed Andrea to blend her passion and education received from the University of Alberta (BSc), the Art Institute of Vancouver (Dp. AAD), and, Simon Fraser University (MDM).
For more information, visit www.mayomotion.com.
Christopher Rajala (Software Developer)
Christopher was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and spent his childhood in Ontario and in the Kootney Region of British Columbia, Canada. After graduating from High School, Christopher spent a few years in the Canadian Armed Service, before continuing onto Thompson River University. He completed the Computers Systems Operation and Management Diploma program in 2002. He completed two computers systems co-ops as part of his university program, one for the federal government and one for the provincial government. After graduation, he worked on several software, hardware and design projects. In 2011, Christopher was recruited by the University of Victoria’s CanAssist program which allowed him the opportunity to design software programs to assist people with disabilities. In 2014, Christopher joined the Key Facts of Life development team as the lead software developer.
Christopher's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why did you create an App and a book series for this subject?
As a child psychologist, over the last five years, I have noticed a real shift in how children access information. Today, children access information and read their books through mobile devices. I wanted to reach and connect with kids through the tools they use. I thought about what conversations – what important conversations – could be facilitated through a child’s mobile device. That was the genesis for the project – let us use mobile devices to help kids learn about the key facts of life.
How do these tools help parents and kids talk about sex?
I recommend parents and children use these tools together. The tools are like a set of keys, each unlocking important information in unique ways that helps the child consolidate learning about these important topics. Together, parents and children are able to explore information on difficult topics in a way that allows the child or parent to pace the flow. Both model a natural way to ask questions and help parents start these conversations at a young age. The App Appeals to a child of the “mobile and internet age,” yet provides age appropriate information, little bits at a time. In both the App and the book, the child is always able to say “that’s enough for today.”
￼How do you recommend parents and children use these tools?
I wanted to create tools that encouraged kids to ask lots and lots of questions to the important adults in their lives. I wanted kids and parents to have these conversations first, before kids find this information on the internet. I also wanted both children and parents to be able to pace the conversations, so that no one would feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. The book and App also allows for parents of any cultural background to keep the conversations consistent with their beliefs. I really believe there is nothing in the App or the book series that people would find offensive. These tools are meant to be used as a first step - a baby step - to jump into these challenging conversations.
How did your background as a child psychologist help you in developing the tools?
Many people who have jumped into this very important area have come from a bio-medical background. I come to this project with a psychological lens and from a developmental, emotional perspective. I really wanted to make it easier to start the conversation earlier and also to facilitate ongoing discussion. I want parents and children to use these tools together. If children and parents are talking more often - if children are asking questions more often - it will increase the child’s comfort to talk about these difficult topics over time. For me it’s not just about physical health, it’s also about emotional identity and health, and strengthening family
Tell us more about this innovative and dynamic project:
Both the App and the book series provide parents and children with a road map, a conversation starter, for the key facts of life. These tools model a natural way for children to ask questions and give parents the words to describe the key facts of life. While sexual health was the focus of the first App and the first book of the Just Enough Series, Dr. Roberts and her partners have continued to develop these tools to help families tackle other important life topics such as death and grieving, cultural diversity, and separation and divorce. These tools allow parents and children to unlock important information one step at a time.
This was an interview that was originally published in Urban Moms.