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Character Strengths and Life Skills

How can I use media to teach my kid teamwork?

Today's media and technology environment is based on a culture of sharing. The ability to work well as a member of a team is a valuable asset in a world that's hyperconnected. Engineers share their computer code. Gamers share self-created levels. Students divvy up responsibilities on group projects.

You can use media to help kids strengthen their teamwork skills by finding apps and games that depend on players working as a team, helping your kid use services such as Google for Education, and encouraging kids to contribute to shared online projects. Here are some more ideas:

Movies, TV, and Books:

  • When kids are learning how to read, take turns reading alternate pages.
  • Visit the library and talk about the system of sharing.
  • Watch movies and TV shows that promote teamwork.

Social Media, Apps, Games, and Websites:

  • Encourage turn-taking in games.
  • Find apps and games that let players work as a team.
  • Support your kid in working with online teams, whether it's sharing his or her knowledge or creations, learning from someone else, or building consensus.
  • Talk about "mash-ups" -- videos, music, and other digital compilations with many contributors.
  • Discuss the limits of teamwork. When is it better to work as a team, and when is it better to work alone?

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Teen, 14 years old written by Icystorm9

If you are willing to spend a good amount of money to have your children learn teamwork as well as many other social skills, while still providing a fun media experience, I would recommend a few things. (And if not, I recommend you at least read through this and consider what I have to say.) 1) If your child does not already have a video game console, buy a Wii U. They're still a bit pricey, but they are up there with some of the most social platforms ever available in the market. (It's also cheaper than a Playstation 4 or an Xbox One.) Here's a link to the Amazon page of the cheapest (and best-looking) set. Be sure to buy it with the console and the gamepad. 2) Buy a Wii U Pro Controller. The Wii U already comes with a controller that is the Gamepad, but if you want to play multiplayer, you will need another controller. The Wii U Pro Controller is the best option for this. They are surely top-quality, but if you don't want to spend 50 bucks, you can get a Hyperkin ProCube Controller; but be wary. They might not be as high in build quality, since it isn't made by Nintendo. Here's a link to the official Wii U Pro Controller page on Amazon: Here's a link to the Hyperkin ProCube Controller page on Amazon: 3) Then you need to buy some good teamwork-based games. I'd recommend LEGO Jurassic World, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, and Minecraft: Wii U Edition. In LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, both parties have to work together to solve puzzles and find objects. For example, there might be a section where 2 people have to get through a door, but it can only be open when a button is being pressed. So one player would stand on the button while the second player would go through and hold the door open for the first player. In Minecraft, while there is a way to play without working together, the most common way to play (and the easiest way to play) is if both players work together to build a house, fight off monsters, find diamonds and gold and resources, and the like. Recently I've been playing a lot of Minecraft with my brothers. We all live in the same house in the game. I go down into the mine while one of my brothers will go exploring and my other brother will go find wood. Then when night falls, we gather our materials together and use them for whatever we need. Links to all of those pages on Amazon. Lego Jurassic World ($16.99 new, ~$10 used): LEGO Marvel Super Heroes ($11.57 new, ~$6 used): Minecraft Wii U Edition ($29.99 new, ~$29 used): 4) Then once those games, you just have to have a friend of your child come over and play. If you want to do this more often, you yourself can play with your child. Nearly all Wii U games are enjoyable for both children and adults.