Introducing GoGoNews On Red-Hot Parenting!

We are starting a new feature here at Red-Hot Parenting. Twice a month, we will be thrilled to host guest posts by Golnar Khosrowshahi. Golnar is the founder of GoGoNews, a website that publishes up to the minute, age appropriate current events for children. She has also written for The Huffington Post and been featured in many technology and parenting related columns. The idea is that Golnar will be able to share with us the latest on news about children, as well as innovative ways to talk to your kids about current events. Today she shares how she started GoGoNews – and also started lots of interesting conversations with her own children in the process:

Several years ago, I started a project for my children under duress. I say ‘under duress’ because my children saw a haunting image of a young girl having survived an earthquake in Pakistan on the cover of a newspaper.They related to the picture because she was no different than them – a little girl – and yet her life was a world of difference from that of my daughters’. That little girl was orphaned and homeless and an earthquake survivor. My daughters’ questions about each and every one of those characteristics prompted me to start thinking about how children are exposed to current events, if at all. And so I began publishing a very basic newsletter paraphrasing some interesting news stories for them – mostly to expose them to the world around them – good news and bad. The project grew and today, it is a news website called GoGoNews – a CNN of sorts for the Velcro set.  The site is used by children, parents and educators and in schools as an ESL tool and as part of media literacy programs.

I am neither an educator nor a journalist, and in fact, spend my days running a music publishing company with significant interests in current day pop and hip hop music. However, it is precisely the combination of being in the pop culture business, starting GoGoNews and being a parent engaged in my children’s education that has prompted a wide spectrum of implications in how I think about media, news, music, books, toys, and film that this generation is exposed to.
Over the years, GoGoNews has started conversations in my family that we would not have otherwise had. These conversations range from the silly to the serious. Now, not only is there a community of children engaging with one another based on something they read but also a community of parents voicing opinions about what they believe is engaging and appropriate – both of which are part of a healthy dialogue.

Regardless of the subject matter, the articles created an opportunity for a conversation – probably one of the most underrated interactions we can have with our children today – a simple conversation. With the creation of the website, I know that it is doing the same for other families – sparking a conversation, conveying a new piece of information, inciting a reaction, laying the seeds for forming an opinion, and exposing children to the world in which they are growing up – a connected global environment across culture and ethnicity.

Welcome, Golnar! And please have a look tomorrow at her take on whether technology like GPS should be used to monitor kids. It will be a lively post!

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