“As soon as children find something that interests them, they lose their instability and learn to concentrate.” – Dr. Maria Montessori
A couple of years back, I enrolled my son in summer camp. There were many activities and courses for kids to choose from. I decided that it was in my son’s best (academic) interests to opt for English speaking and Craft classes. However, my boy was longing to join the dance group. The result was that by the end of the camp, not only was his summer a waste, but his heart was now filled with sadness and resentment.
Understanding your Child
It wasn’t that I don’t love my kids – of course, I do! The trouble was that I didn’t consider his individual interests before anything else. This is a common mistake many parents take, under the illusion that they’re actually pushing their kids towards something that’ll benefit them in their future.
But identifying kids’ true interests isn’t easy, even for their own parents! This can be doubly difficult when kids tend to flit from one activity to another. Now if only there was an easy way to find out what they were truly interested in, so we could guide them accordingly. In my search for something that would help me find my child’s interest, I stumbled upon PiNWi – an interest mapping app!
Do you know your Child’s True Interests? Find out with PiNWi!
PiNWi stands for ‘Play Interest Wise’. This is an interactive app for parents to help them understand and identify their children’s interests. This happens by analyzing data collected from the children and entered by parents. This way you don’t have to guess if your child is truly interested in his current Math club – you can enter data to analyze it for you!
PiNWi may seem to act like magic, but the principle behind it is quite simple. All you need to do is ask! Yes, the app collects data based on the answers children give when parents ask them what interests them. This doesn’t need to be done directly; parents can find this out through their regular daily conversations. Parents can use the app to enter all their children’s activities and let the kids rate it based on how much they enjoyed each one. One part I really liked is the fact that the app has two interfaces – one for parents and one for kids. While I can use the parent interface to enter and schedule activities, my son completely enjoyed his exclusive access to spin the wheel and rate his interests! Having their own interface gives kids a sense of control over the whole process, rather than feeling like they’re just blindly following instructions.
PiNWi examines all the data entered and generates personalized reports to help parents understand what makes their kids happy. This is done by analyzing 17 factors that drive children’s interests, which have been gathered by studying several child developmental studies and theories. Seriously, the sheer amount of time and effort that has gone into the research behind this app is mind-blowing! It’s impressive that we have access to such a scientific and well-researched app here in India.
Benefits of Using PiNWi
Everyone benefits from using PiNWi!! For parents, it takes the guesswork out of understanding their children’s interests and prevents waste of money and time. The app is also akin to a social network for parents, who can learn about what other kids of the same age are interested in. It can also help them get more ideas for further activities and gifts.
PiNWi also helps kids connect to each other within a safe social network. Regular data entry earns them points which offers them more motivation to enter their ratings! Inspired by friends and their interests, they can also think up new activities and fun games.
Our Experience with the PiNWi App
The PiNWi app is available on both Android and the App Store. The install went smoothly enough and opened up a login screen. You can enter multiple kids’ details, but since the app is for kids above 6 years of age, I entered just my 8 year old son’s data.
The main page helps you schedule activities, view insights, network with other parents and manage notifications. For activities, you can choose from a list of recommended topics. Missing a day’s entry was okay; thankfully I was able to enter it the next day too! The best part about entering the data is how much it involves the kids directly. On each child’s ‘homepage’, there are multicolored icons that clearly indicate a range of things they might want to do – send a postcard, grab a badge or maintain a wishlist. It made my son feel more connected with the app, and it made the reports feel more reliable.
The reports are really comprehensive, and they show a lot of detail regarding the child’s interests and performance in each activity. The free version gives a very basic report, but going for the full version unlocks all kinds of special features and also gives a more thorough report. If your child is old enough they can go through the report with you and find it quite revealing! This will help both the parent and child put to rest any quarrels they have regarding who’s interested in what!
With my son, I have to say that the reports were an eye-opening experience! I was always under the impression that he veered towards sporty interests, and I had expected the reports to reveal something along those lines. After entering in all our data, we waited with bated breath for the results, while I was smug with my ‘Mommy knows everything already’ face! Well, surprise, surprise – Mommy could also be wrong!
The reports clearly indicated that my son had a love for all things logical and this was his true interest area! I was very surprised and delighted at the same time – at last, I could now guide him correctly! Since we knew exactly where his interest lay, we didn’t have to waste time, money or effort in the wrong direction. And my son could truly shine in an area that was natural to him. It was a win-win for everyone!
There are many parenting apps out there, but most of them lack a proper qualitative analysis on how children perform in various areas. As a doctor, I’m really pleased to see that PiNWi has done this in a very transparent manner – the results are truly reliable. We often tend to make random assumptions about what our kids are interested in or what they do, but seeing it all recorded and in black and white gives us a lot of clarity. It also helps children get over any frustration and resentment and helps them learn a great deal about themselves too. However, to truly get the benefit of the app, it’s recommended to go for the full version, after paying a one-time fee of Rs. 600.00. This will give you access on multiple devices, an in-depth weekly report as well as all the fun features for kids to use.
So now, you don’t need to force kids into classes they aren’t interested in, or worry about their constantly evolving interests. Let them go where their heart takes them, PiNWi will help you guide them in the right direction!