Using Digital Media to Teach Kids About Gratitude

Thanksgiving is about counting our blessings and expressing appreciation. But should being grateful be reserved for just one day a year? So many studies now show a gratitude mindset, when practiced daily, can lead to happier lives. What a wonderful skill and muscle to develop as a family and with our children.

iStock-700692262.jpg

The holidays can mean travel time, out of school time and – extended family time. For many families, it can also mean – screen time. As you’re navigating what to put on your children’s screens, try the media below to cultivate a sense of appreciation and gratitude through the storylines there.

Six kiddo-tested fun titles for kids to learn about the magic of…gratitude.

1. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

The television special we all love and enjoy is now available to download as an app. This app allows it’s youngest users to watch this timeless story and provides opportunities for interaction. Most importantly, this story teaches children that Thanksgiving is not just about eating great food. It teaches children about sharing and being grateful for friends and family.

Ages: 4+

2. The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks

This interactive app allows children to view the story, explore pictures, and learn new vocabulary. Children can even personalize the story by recording their own narrations. This story provides a great moral lesson of counting your blessings and being grateful.

Ages: 4+

3. My Gratitude Journal

This simple app encourages you to reflect and write down 5 things you are grateful for while using fun emojis to capture the spirit of the day. The app also provides gentle reminders on days you forget to journal. Proven benefits include an increase in self-confidence and reduction in stress and anxiety.

Ages: 4+

4. VeggieTales: Madame Blueberry

Depending on your family’s values, this could be a great movie to watch together. It teaches children that materialism and greed do not bring happiness into our lives. The movie touches upon how easy it is for us to forget to be grateful for all that we have.

Ages 4+

5. Annie

This movie is an adaptation of the Broadway Musical of the same name. It’s a story about an orphan named Annie, who despite having very little, never forgets to share with others. Even when she is given an opportunity to live in a wealthier home, she never forgets to express her gratitude.

Ages 8+

6. The Blind Side

This movie is based on a true story of NFL player Michael Oher. Michael was taken in by a wealthy family who supported him. This movie focuses on inclusion and the importance of family.

Ages 12+

The best way to teach your children about gratitude is to set an example and incorporate it into your daily lives. Slowly but surely, kids can begin adopting a daily attitude of gratefulness.

7 Ways To Encourage Mindful Technology Usage at Home

Research shows that children ages 5-16 spend an average of at least six hours a day on their screens. Children having this level of accessibility to screens and devices at home is a relatively new phenomenon, but research already indicates that too much screen time negatively impacts children.

Since access to devices and screens aren’t going away (and will likely only increase), parents now look for opportunities to give children the mindset and toolkit to live with technology, especially as they grow up and make their own choices. We’ve curated 7 top tips that encourage children to be mindful of how they use their devices at home so they can receive the positive benefits of technology, while avoiding the downsides of overuse.

Happy African American mother and her little daughter using laptop.

Continue reading