University of Calgary

Alumna develops iPad app to help parents discuss birds and bees

UToday HomeAugust 16, 2013

Roberts’ app, The Facts of Life, helps children understand “where babies come from” in an interactive, fun, age-appropriate manner.Dr. Jillian Roberts’ app, The Facts of Life, helps children understand “where babies come from” in an interactive, fun, age-appropriate manner.Parents need not dread the inevitable question of where babies come from — a unique iPad app developed by a University of Calgary alumna offers a family-friendly tool to help navigate the sensitive subject.

The Facts of Life app is the first of its kind, designed to help parents satisfy their children’s curiosity in an age-appropriate, safe format that avoids unreliable sources. The app also gives options for parents and kids to get more information, or tap “enough” and return later when they are ready for more.

“It is not safe for children to search online because of the inappropriate websites that pop up,” says Dr. Jillian Roberts, PhD’98, a University of Victoria psychologist and associate professor of educational psychology. “There are good books available, but kids seem to prefer using mobile devices to access information these days.

“The idea is for parents to use this app with their kids to give them just enough information at a time. I hope that by using this iPad app, children will be more likely to receive sexual information from their parents and stay safer online.”

Dr. Jillian Roberts is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies at the University of Victoria, and a child and adolescent psychologist. Roberts is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies at the University of Victoria, and a child and adolescent psychologist. Roberts specializes in children's development and well-being and used years of practical experience and keeping track of the questions she was asked in designing the app to respond to those questions in an age-appropriate, accurate, interactive and wholesome way.

The iPad version was just launched, with an iPhone version and a Chinese language version coming.

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