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Published: 23 Apr 2018

App Helps Children Manage Emotions

Mobile games from US-based company Neuromotion Labs are teaching children emotional management skills using just a smartphone and a heart-rate monitor. The Mightier app encourages kids to learn deep-breathing exercises when their heart rate rises during gaming, helping them understand the correlation between frustration and heart rate.

Children strap a heart-rate monitor that's paired with an iPhone onto their wrist and choose a game to play from the Mightier platform. As they play the difficulty increases, which pushes their heart rate up. If their heart rate reaches the 'red zone', the game pauses and an animation runs, which encourages the child to take part in a deep-breathing, calming exercise to lower their heart rate.

The platform was built for children between the ages of six and 14 who are struggling to self-regulate their emotions. It's particularly useful for those with challenging behaviours, oppositional disorder, ADHD and autism.

"We have clinical research that shows that intentionally calming yourself down in the moment is extremely effective in exercising your parasympathetic nervous system and strengthening your emotional regulation," says co-founder Trevor Stricker. Research carried out by Mightier revealed that 45 minutes a week of play reduced outbursts from children by 62% and decreased oppositional behaviours by 40%.

Parents can pay three monthly instalments of $89 for the Mightier starter kit, or a one-off payment of $249. The kit includes access to the app and an online members' hub, expert parent support and a heart-rate monitor.

For more insights into Gen Alpha (aged nought to eight), see Gen Alpha: Raising the Superkids.

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