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| September 7, 2012
AppAdvice Jr: The Best Apps To Discuss Bullying
If there’s one thing no one wants to deal with, it’s being bullied. No one wants to feel different, out of place, or singled out for just being themselves. This is especially so for children. Unfortunately, it’s a cold and hard fact of life that the ignorance is a deeply entrenched aspect of the human condition. That doesn’t mean that you have to let your child doubt whether or not he or she wants to go to school each day. Luckily, there are some apps to help. Be A Buddy, Not A Bully tells a story of a simple farmer being hassled by a bully digging on his farm. [caption id="attachment_336411" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Harvest the farmer gets his feelings hurt.[/caption] Harvest, the farmer, writes his glum feelings in his journal and seeks help from others to figure out how to resolve the issue. This storybook app is a good way for parents to discuss with children the negative effects of ignoring the feelings of others. The story of Rindin tells of a puffer fish who is mocked by his fishy peers. However, the other fish soon learn that being different isn’t a bad thing. [caption id="attachment_336412" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Rindin the puffer fish is teased for being different.[/caption] This app comes in three different flavors: free (offering only the eight minute animated movie), a $0.99 storybook app, and the book and associated game for $0.99. Try the movie first, being free (it’s also narrated by Wallace Shawn, so what’s not to like about that?). Finally, there’s the storybook app Dandelion. A word of caution, though, this story leans on the dark side, so you may want to check out the App Store site for it before committing to the $4.99 price. [caption id="attachment_336413" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Benjamin has a bully problem at school.[/caption] Little Benjamin is stuck in a school where he’s constantly pushed around. It isn’t until he learns the power is inside him to make the bullies go away that he gains his freedom. In the end the app has an email form to send warm thoughts to someone. While the message of inner strength is good, the overall aesthetics of the story are violent and grim. While there are a multitude of apps in the App Store about bullying, not all of them are quality (as evidenced by the poorly designed Are You a Bully? app). But the above recommendations should point you in the right direction. However, the best ones are the ones that help you and your child discuss bullying and how to deal with it. Because no one should have to live with it. Have any different apps helped you relate this topic to your child?