How can I use media to teach my kid gratitude?

Our culture is saturated with come-ons to buy, buy, buy: smartphones, in-app purchases, pricey laptops, and advertising that targets kids at every turn. No wonder many parents fret over how to teach kids gratitude. But gratitude actually has nothing to do with the amount of stuff you have or don't have.

You can use media to teach kids gratitude by expressing appreciation for what you have, letting kids earn the devices and features that they want, using online tools to help others, and resisting consumerist culture.  Try these ideas:

Movies, TV, and Books:

  • Check books out of the library, join a book-exchange group, and visit or build a neighborhood Little Free Library.
  • Read the acknowledgement section in books and discuss whom the author thanked and why.
  • Seek out movies and TV shows that inspire gratitude.

Social Media, Apps, Games, and Websites:

  • Encourage kids to send thank-you notes by using online thank-you cards or sending an email (they can add pictures and video).
  • Visit our list of Sites That Help Kids Do Good and find ways kids can contribute.
  • Join Club Penguin's Coins for Change program during the holidays.
  • Instead of automatically upgrading your kids' devices, have them earn what they want.
  • Create a culture of appreciation at home by regularly discussing what you're thankful for.
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