10 Science-Backed Benefits of Practicing Gratitude With Kids

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Practicing Gratitude With Kids

Only recently have scientists begun to study the benefits of gratitude. Vitamin G, as some like to call it, plays a critical role in happiness. Focusing on the positive boosts body, mind and spirit. It gives us energy, inspires us and transforms us. In a nutshell, it provides life with meaning by thinking of life as a gift. Don’t you want to give this gift to your children?

Top 10 Benefits of Gratitude

Dr. Robert Emmons is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He conducted studies involving gratitude journals and found that when people regularly engage in gratitude, they experience measurable psychological, physical and interpersonal benefits:

  • Feel better about their lives overall
  • Experience higher levels of positive emotions like optimism, enthusiasm, love and happiness
  • Are kinder and more generous to others
  • Have fewer physical problems including pain
  • Exercise more regularly and eat healthier
  • Sleep better
  • Visit the doctor more regularly for checkups
  • Feel less stressed
  • Are able to cope with stress more effectively and recover more quickly from stressful situations
  • Live longer–on average, being thankful adds seven years to our lives!

How It Works

Why does saying thank you have so many benefits for us? When we count our blessings, we interrupt the cycle of negative and fearful thoughts, which allows the stress system in our bodies to recover. Research shows that when we are thankful, we love our lives and want to make sure we stick around long enough to enjoy them. Also, when we receive praise from others, our brain releases the chemical dopamine, which encourages us to do more to receive such praise. This makes us want to thank others and make them feel good as well.

How To Teach Children Gratitude

In her book 10 Mindful Minutes, Goldie Hawn explains that being thankful is not a natural instinct; children need to be taught how to do it. She asks parents to be a good example to their children by thanking them often. It is important to explain to our children why they are being praised. Another important tip is to be careful not to judge how our children express gratitude. Young children under age 7 may not fully grasp the concept. It is not what they are thankful for but that they are learning how to express gratitude that matters. If they want to be thankful for a toy, that is okay.

Keeping a gratitude journal is the backbone of gratitude scientific research. Anytime you read about gratitude, you will be asked to write down five points you are thankful for that day or week on an ongoing basis. Over time, you will begin to experience the benefits of gratitude such as stress reduction and optimism.

I tried the traditional journal approach when I first learned about gratitude and it did not work for me. I found it repetitive and boring, to be perfectly blunt. This is why I started my nightly ritual of the gratitude prayer with my children. That works for us, but each family needs to discover what is most effective for them. Plus, you don’t want it to become an annoying chore–it is supposed to make you happier after all!

Here are some ideas for fun, creative gratitude journals using a variety of media. As technology changes and our children learn more about what they can do with computers, tablets and smartphones, we should show them how to use these tools for something positive–for making them feel better.

5 Ways To Keep Gratitude Journals With Your Kids

  1. Blog
    My son just started getting writing assignments in second grade using a student blog site. He loves seeing his words online and gets so excited when classmates comment on his posts. Why not set up a family gratitude journal blog (password protected, of course)? You can even involve grandparents and cousins, no matter how far they live. You could introduce this idea at the Thanksgiving table and challenge everyone to submit a post each week throughout the year.
  2. Audio Recording
    Children love to hear their own voices. You can have them record their journal on a phone or tablet. Once you have the recordings, you can get really creative by posting them online for others to listen to or you can even put it to music and create a song or rap using highlights of what they said.
  3. Videos
    Children also love watching videos of themselves. My daughter can spend hours watching herself on my phone. They will have a blast talking about what they are thankful for and watching it over and over. Maybe have them pretend to be reporters and their gratitude is the news of the day. Or they can act out scenes from the wonderful moments they had.
  4. Drawings
    For children who are more visual or artistic, ask them to draw or paint what they are thankful for at the time. You can then put the artwork together in a book organized by month or year. Create your own handmade journal or take pictures and use Snapfish or an online slideshow to present the images.
  5. Collage
    Looking for pictures in magazines or online to build a gratitude collage is a fun family project. And no artistic talent is required! All that cutting is also a great way for your child to build fine motor skills.

I hope you enjoy saying thank you with your children in these innovative ways. You can mix and match these media as well, such as posting videos on your gratitude blog.

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Kindness: It’s a Choice

Kindness: It’s a Choice

Kindness: It’s a Choice

Every morning, my husband and I started incorporating a new concept into our 3-year-old’s routine. At the breakfast table, we ask, “What do you choose to be today?”

We each go around the table and choose how we will behave throughout the day; a sort of mantra practice to help realign and find a center if we get off course.

We’re not seasoned yogis or spiritual people. Really, just an average couple trying to find new ways to engage and teach our son about existing in the world around him.

We have other goals for it, too. For instance, we strive to use it as a tool to teach him about choice, repercussions and how to navigate emotions, those examples being topics of high priority. Seems a little lofty perhaps. Yet, studies show children learn by repetition(1). If we start navigating emotions and choice patterns productively now, where might he be at age 10, 15 or 20?

Putting my long-term hopes aside, I’ve found he has taken to this idea rather quickly. Incredibly, he has even started to remind us there’s a choice to be made each day.

“Mommy,” he says, slurping down a smoothie, “what are you choosing today?”

Usually, I opt for patience, focus or strength; anything to get me through the day and the never-ending to-do list.

I ask, “Declan, what do you choose?”

He replies, with a wide, toothy grin, blue eyes smiling, “I choose to be kind.”

I pause. My eyes glaze over in a misty haze. His answer is a surprise and so pure. Be still my mama heart.

What does kindness mean?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “kind” means generous, helpful and thinking about other people’s feelings(2). Merriam-Webster defines it as of a sympathetic or helpful nature(3).

To be honest, I’m not certain he comprehends the undertaking he has chosen. However, the idea that he gravitates toward this principle by nature makes my soul sing.

“Ok, Declan, what do you choose to be today?”

“Kind,” he replies.

So, I take it a step further. “Ok. What does it mean to be kind?”

“Helpful.”

Solid, kid. That’s a solid start.

His reply really got me thinking: What does kindness mean to kids in our surrounding communities?

I see them on bikes. Walking their dogs. Skateboarding in the streets. Hanging in the park. Texting. Talking. Swimming in pools. Cruising around the beach. Do these kids have the same idea of kindness that my 3-year-old is developing? I decided to ask.

Children in local counties answered the question, “What does kindness mean to you?” Here are their responses:

  • Friendly, generous and considerate. Brendan, 10.
  • It means to be nice to others. Help when you did not do it. Pick-up stuff. Help/volunteer for things. Have a big SMILE and be nice. Ka’voni, 9.
  • Not hitting and not scaring people. Helping another one. Aaron, 5.
  • Kindness to me means being considerate to others. Haley, 9.
  • Respecting others, loving, wanting to be around them. Respecting the difference between us. Caroline, 9.
  • Respecting others’ personal space and how they feel, and what they like or think about you. Ava, 9.5.
  • It means having respect for someone. Dixon, 9.
  • Treat people nicely no matter how they look. Braden, 9.
  • Helping. Emily, 9.

Kind is a Verb

There is still more to learn on this journey of kindness, both for my son and myself. Being helpful is an excellent place to start. And while we each have room to grow, he is learning certain actions just aren’t acceptable. Things like throwing his “swords” at mommy and daddy or hitting the dog with them. Indeed, these are not actions of a kind person.

When he calls me out, saying, “Be kind, mama,” I instantly halt. I must admit, it’s a humbling dose of innocent honesty that truly grounds me; a sudden jab of truth I didn’t know I needed.

Although kind is designated as an adjective, in our world, it’s more a verb; it’s what you do. This daily exercise, this mantra-setting, social awareness practice we have started, has also transformed our household. There’s a new standard for behavior and interactions. A precedent has been set. I, too, pause before an unfair statement and take a deep breath before uttering an untoward comment, striving to be a beacon of kindness. Behaviors are changing, from the youngest to the oldest, how we act in our home and outside of it, we now proceed with a sweeter intention. Perhaps this will take off for our son so he can venture into the world, being his own little ball of glowing energy for everyone he encounters. Maybe he’ll be an example to his schoolmates, a little leader, someone who stands up for others. We have yet to see. 

The ultimate aspiration I have for this morning exercise is that he learns he has the power to change his behavior and mood, as well as the opportunity to positively affect other individuals to do the same. And that’s a lesson he’ll carry with him for years to come.

In a world seemingly plagued with contention, controversy and crime, maybe these words from our children need to be highlighted, revisited and reexamined even more. And perhaps, we parents are doing a much better job than we think. Maybe we’re even working towards an unspoken, more unified future, one kind action at a time.

 

  1. LoBue, V. (2019, July 10). Why children like repetition, and how it helps them learn. Psychology Today. Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-baby-scientist/201907/why-children-repetition-and-how-it-helps-them-learn.
  2. Kind. (2021). In Merriam-Webster. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kind
  3. Kind. (2021b). In Cambridge Dictionary. Cambridge Unive. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/kind

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Your Family Can Make a Difference: Choose To Give

Your Family Can Make a Difference: Choose To Give

Your Family Can Make a Difference: Choose To Give

The evening news is filled with stories of natural disasters or the ravages of war. Our children are aware that many others just their age are suffering. What can we do to both alleviate that suffering and teach our children compassion? It sometimes seems that any effort we might make is merely a drop in the bucket. But… that really doesn’t matter. It’s like the story of the boy on the beach caught throwing starfish back into the ocean so they wouldn’t die. The observer ridiculed the boy’s efforts saying he’d never get them all back in and what he was doing really didn’t make a difference. His answer: “It makes a difference to the ones I throw back in.”

And that’s the answer. We can’t fix the whole world, but we can impact one person, one family or one village. We can alleviate pain and suffering somewhere for a time, and we can make a difference in that circumstance. We have a choice—to try to help or to ignore the situation. It feels good to try.

There are thousands of organizations around the world dedicated to giving aid. And, there are many ways to help. Here are some of the possibilities. Which way will your family choose to make a difference?

Sponsor a Child

There are many organizations that support the care, feeding and education of children. Sometimes they’re orphans and sometimes they’re just children of families who have moved into care homes when families can’t support them. Increasingly young girls are being rescued from the sex trade and given a chance at a new life in such homes. If you’re interested in supporting a child overseas, be sure to decide whether you’re a one-time supporter or you’re in it for years. Sometimes you’ll receive pictures and letters from the children you support, sometimes not. It’s important to understand that there are many mouths to feed in such homes and the ones who don’t get supported need to eat as well. So your money may go into a fund that supports all. These children grow up or move away at times so be prepared to either select a new child or choose another way to give. Some of the best organizations for child sponsorship are World Vision, Shared Hope International, She Is Safe (formerly Sisters in Service) and Save the Children.

Make Micro-Loans

All around the world women are receiving small seed loans to begin their own businesses or learn how to save and earn interest to better support their families. A loan of only enough money for an American family to go out to dinner will literally change a life in Asia or Africa. Since the beginning of the micro-loan concept, it has been established that they work best for women who tend to have a much higher rate of success and repayment. Loans are taken to begin small sewing or cooking businesses. They’re taken to save for education and for any number of small business ventures. The best-known organization for micro-loans is Kiva.org.

Support Medical Projects

Imagine the joy experienced when a person with cataracts has them corrected in a simple operation and they can see again. Or imagine one suffering with infected, rotten teeth who has dental services provided. Often, clinics in other countries are basic hygiene and eye and dental services that we take for granted as normal health care. Giving aid to organizations such as Medical Teams International or Doctors Without Borders is a wonderful way to bring basic healthcare to those who never expect to have it.

Purchase Animals

Providing goats, chickens, pigs and other animals can literally change the life of a family with limited food supply. And when training in animal husbandry is added, the animals can bear young and supply both food and income for generations to come. Heifer International, Practical Presents and Present Aid are three organizations providing such aid.

Community Development Projects

Another way to give to overseas aid projects is to fund organizations doing community development. This may be in the form of digging wells to provide clean water to a community or providing mosquito nets to prevent the spread of malaria. It might be an agricultural project such as growing a healthier form of a grain or introducing a new trade into a community. MCC, the Mennonite Central Committee, does these projects as well as Mercy Corps.

Food/Feeding Programs

When people are hungry there is nothing else on their minds. They can’t improve their job skills, go to school or otherwise get their lives in order. They need food. Hunger Plus Incorporated and Food for the Hungry are two organizations that specialize in distributing food. There are many other organizations that do food distribution in addition to many other projects to benefit the poor and needy.

Locally

Perhaps you’re saying to yourself “There are plenty of projects to do right here in my own backyard.” And you’d be right. While the level of poverty tends to be greater in developing nations, there are many needs in our own communities. Maybe you’d like to volunteer in Big Brother or Sister programs or work through local food banks to feed the poor in your own community. There are so many opportunities for your family to give of your time, energy, and money.

Below you’ll find a site to vet non-profit aid organizations and also a great website, Doing Good Together which teaches families how to intentionally live generous lives.

www.Doinggoodtogether.org

www.charitynavigator.org

 

Jan Pierce is a freelance writer and the author of Homegrown Readers and Homegrown Family Fun. Find Jan at www.janpierce.net.

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13 Ways To Boost Your Daughter’s Self-Esteem

13 Ways To Boost Your Daughter’s Self-Esteem

13 Ways To Boost Your Daughter’s Self-Esteem

How to help girls build confidence based on what they can do, not what they look like

In a culture saturated with digitally altered images of impossibly thin women, raising girls with high self-esteem can be daunting indeed. But as parents, you have great influence—both by what you say and what you do. Here’s some advice from experts Catherine Steiner-Adair, EdD, a clinical psychologist, school consultant and creator of  “Full of Ourselves,” a social-emotional program for girls, Anea Bogue, MA, author (9 Ways We Are Screwing Up Our Girls and How We Can Stop) and the creator of REALgirl, an empowerment program for girls, and Mary Rooney, PhD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in adolescents.

1. Model body acceptance

Moms have a huge impact on their daughters’ body image. Don’t ask, “Do these jeans make me look fat?” or obsess out loud about food or put your appearance down. Avoid what Dr. Steiner-Adair calls the “morality of orality”—talking about food and yourself as “good” or “bad.” As in: I was bad today; I had pizza. So I’m not going to have dessert.

2.  Make your daughter media literate

“Watch TV with her and talk about what you see,” says Dr. Steiner-Adair. “Help her develop a critical eye through which to decode and filter media messages.”

3.  Don’t raise her as a “pleaser”

Encourage her to stand up for what she needs and wants. “Create opportunities for her to use her voice,” Bogue advises. “Ask ‘What do you want?’ Let her make a choice and then honor that choice.”

4.  Start team sports early

Research shows girls who play on teams have higher self-esteem. “There’s a very common correlation, in my experience,” says Bogue, “between girls who play team sports and girls who suffer less with low self-esteem because they are looking to other girls for their value, and within, as opposed to looking to boys for validation.”

5.  Moms, don’t borrow your daughter’s clothes

“You want to let her have her own style, her own look,” says Dr. Steiner-Adair. “Especially, and this is a really hard thing if you have a mom who by society’s standards is prettier or thinner than her daughter.”

6.  Direct your praise away from appearance

“I think that we need to make a very conscious effort to balance our compliments about a girl’s appearance with compliments about who she is and what she DOES in the world,” says Bogue. “Challenge yourself to match every compliment you give about your daughter’s appearance with at least two compliments about something non-appearance-based, and do the same for other girls who cross your path — your daughter’s friends, nieces, etc.”

7.  Help her build skills that are independent of appearance

“Get her involved in activities that build a sense of confidence, rather than focusing on looking good and acquiring things,” Dr. Rooney suggests. “Sports, theater, music, art. Anything really that can help girls express themselves through words or creativity or activity rather than through their appearance or what they’re carrying around.”

8.  Speak up about your daughter’s school curriculum

Does it include a female perspective? “Imagine if you were putting together a family history,” Bogue says, “and you only asked the men about their memories, about their perspective. Think about all of the information that would be lost.”

9.  Praise your daughter for her efforts rather than her performance

“Focus less on the outcome and more on efforts and the development of new skills,” says Dr. Rooney. Mastery is what builds confidence, and learning to tolerate failure fosters resilience.

10.  Be careful about what magazines you have in the house

“Research suggests,” says Steiner-Adair, “that after 15 minutes of looking at a fashion magazine, mood shifts from curiosity and enthusiasm to comparing yourself and putting yourself down.”

11.  Don’t trash talk other women

“And don’t let the boys and men in your household do it either,” adds Dr. Steiner- Adair. “Don’t let kids tease each other around food or looks. Do not let that go down in your house. It’s really harmful.”

12.  Dads: Don’t treat your daughter like a damsel in distress

“When fathers treat girls as though they are these fragile, helpless, little beings,” Bogue says, “the message is, ‘Your role is to look good so a man will sweep in and save you.’ Instead, give her the opportunity and the tools—to change her own tire, to use her voice and speak up for herself, to play sports, to be able to brush herself off and get back up. I think it’s a good measure to say, ‘If I would do it with my son, I should be prepared to do it with my daughter.’”

13.  Make sure she knows you love her no matter what

She needs to know that you’ll love her “no matter how her appearance might change or how she dresses or how she might perform at something,” says Dr. Rooney. “Because even though kids are so reliant on their peers for feedback when they’re in their teens, what her parents think of her matters just as much as it ever did.”

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5 Ways To Make Kindness a Family Activity

5 Ways To Make Kindness a Family Activity

5 Ways To Make Kindness a Family Activity

Why do you help others? Yes, it’s the right thing to do – but did you know that it also makes you happier and healthier? It may seem a bit selfish to look at how being kind to others is beneficial to us personally, but the recent science surrounding kindness is so fascinating that we can’t ignore it. Plus, it’s important for parents to understand why we want to instill kindness in our children so that we can provide all the reasons to them when they question it.

What Happens When We Are Kind?

Kindness is a win-win for both the giver and receiver. Our brain chemistry actually changes when we do something nice for another person. Studies show that thinking about, watching or practicing kindness stimulates the vagus nerve, which is linked to the production of oxytocin in our brain. Oxytocin is a hormone that soothes us, making us feel calmer and happier. Kindness also triggers the production of dopamine, the hormone responsible for positive emotions and that natural high feeling we get. As a result, we experience positive health changes including:

  • Increased life expectancy
  • Feeling less lonely
  • Stronger immune system
  • Fewer aches and pains
  • Decrease in stress and anxiety
  • Less depression
How Kindness and Stress Are Connected

How can helping someone else reduce our stress level? A study published recently by UCLA and Yale University School of Medicine linked acts of kindness to stress reduction. For 14 days, a group of adults was asked to report stressful events they experienced each day from several categories (e.g., interpersonal, work/education, home, finance, health/accident). They were also asked to report whether they participated in various helpful behaviors (e.g., held open a door, helped with schoolwork, asked someone if they needed help) that day.

Results showed that on any given day, helping others controlled the effects of stress on overall health. Researchers concluded that volunteerism can be an important way of coping with stress. According to the Association for Psychological Science, study author Emily Ansell of the Yale University School of Medicine said, “Stressful days usually lead us to have a worse mood and poorer mental health, but our findings suggest that if we do small things for others, such as holding a door open for someone, we won’t feel as poorly on stressful days.”

Ways To Expand Kindness in Your Family’s Life

Now that you know all the amazing benefits of kindness, don’t you just want to get out there and make someone smile? There are so many simple ways you can incorporate kindness into your family’s daily routine.

  • Find a local volunteer project to do as a family.
  • Do random acts of kindness with your kids and talk to them about the experience. How did it make them feel? Some ideas include leaving a treat on a neighbor’s doorstep, giving a very generous tip to restaurant staff, opening a door for a stranger and helping the elderly with groceries.
  • Send a thank-you note to someone who has done something special for you.
  • Join a kindness challenge. I encourage everyone to sign up with KindSpring. The site offers kindness challenges and an online community of people who practice small acts of kindness, share stories and support each other.
  • Bring kindness programs to your child’s school. Check out the following wonderful resources:

– Ripple Kindness Project: Provides a kindness school curriculum and an interactive community with stories and inspiration. They also offer kindness cards and other products.
– Random Acts of Kindness Foundation: Encourages the spread of kindness in schools, communities and homes through inspiration, ideas, stories and school curriculum.
– Kindness Matters 365: This program connects children with philanthropic organizations so they can learn firsthand what it means to be a good Samaritans – through acts of charity and kindness.

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How To Help Your Teen Be More Productive

How To Help Your Teen Be More Productive

How To Help Your Teen Be More Productive

It is eleven o’clock. You should go to sleep now.”

“But I haven’t finished my homework yet.”

This common exchange between my 13-year-old daughter and me occurs more often than I care to admit. Even though she gets home at 2 p.m., she often procrastinates completing her homework until right before bedtime. She is also a repeat offender of waiting until the last minute to start research projects.

Being productive when completing homework or in a job is an issue for many teenagers who are easily distracted by electronics, socializing or other fun activities.

Put Away Devices

“The best tip for teens to improve productivity is to put your phone away. Our smartphones can be exceptionally useful tools, but they can also be exceptionally distracting,” says Emily Price, author of the book, Productivity Hacks: 500+ Easy Ways to Accomplish More at Work–That Actually Work! Price wrote the book based on 15 years of interviewing people ranging from low-level employees to CEOs. Price says, “Everyone and every company has a different approach to ‘how to work.’”

Price recommends that teens put their phone in another room when they are trying to be productive. If they need their phone for homework, then she suggests using “Do Not Disturb” mode to limit the distracting sounds of a “pinging phone.” She says, “Being disconnected for a few hours can make a tremendous difference to your productivity.”

Have a Dedicated Workspace

Price also suggests a dedicated workspace. She says, “Having an ‘office’ or a place where you traditionally do your work can be great for a number of reasons. First, it can help put you in the mindset for ‘work’ when you sit down. Secondly, it can be a signal to other people in your home that you’re busy working and shouldn’t be disturbed.”

“The most important thing when it comes to teens being productive in school and with homework or any jobs is making sure that they are intrinsically motivated,” says Maria Sanders, a licensed social worker and certified parent coach.

Have Teens Create Their Own Plan

Sanders explains that you can help your teen become motivated by allowing them to feel competent, connected and autonomous. She says, “It is important for teens to come up with their own plan of action of how they can be productive rather than having the parent dictate the best tips and strategies.”

If a teen can be involved in their decision-making process of how to be productive then it is more likely that they will follow through with their work. While they are thinking of a productivity plan have them consider any obstacles or challenges that will be barriers to their productivity along with their strengths and resources.

Eat Breakfast

Price and Sanders agree that starting the day by eating breakfast helps your mind to become more alert and provides energy to be productive in school. Since most teenagers get up early for school, eating breakfast can be a challenge. If this is an issue due to time, then Price suggests drinking a smoothie or eating a protein bar. She says, “Breakfast doesn’t have to mean eggs and bacon, but it should involve enough calories to kickstart your metabolism and keep you full until lunchtime.”

Sanders explains that if your teen isn’t eating breakfast then ask questions like, “Do you think skipping breaking is working for you? Do you have enough energy during school?” These questions can help teens to feel part of the decision-making process and think about their choices.

Get Enough Sleep

Another key factor in being productive is getting enough sleep which is often an issue for most teens who like to stay up late and need to get up early for school. Price says, “One of the best things you can do to boost your productivity is to get enough sleep.”

Price suggests that teens do not sleep in the same room as their phones which can disrupt or prevent them from going to sleep. She also says that taking a warm shower before going to bed can relax your muscles and prepare your body for sleep.

If your teen isn’t getting enough sleep at night then Sander encourages parents to ask questions like, “Do you feel tired in the morning or during the day? How can you improve the amount of sleep you are getting at night?” These questions can help them to figure out a way to improve their sleep schedule.

Use A Productivity App

In Price’s book, she recommends various apps that can help increase productivity. Some apps that Price thinks teens would find beneficial are:

RescueTime: This app will track how much time you spend on certain websites and certain apps on your computer. You can use this information to be more aware of the time spent on social media and then change it by setting a timer when using social media if necessary, to be more productive.

Just Read: is a Chrome extension that will remove things like flashy webpage styles, pop-up ads and comments, and will turn the article into a simplified text which helps to prevent distractions while reading.

Forest: This app grows virtual trees when you’re not using your phone. When you launch an app or browse the Internet, the trees wither and die. Using this app will make you more aware of how much you’re using your phone and encourage you to put it away so your virtual trees and productivity can grow.

Grammarly: This web and mobile app can read through the text you write and look for any spelling or grammar errors.

FocusWriter: is a minimalist word processing app for Windows, Mac and Linux that forces you to focus on something you’re writing by preventing you from doing other things on your computer. The app blocks programs and websites that might take your attention away from your writing, and it allows you to set timers to break up your work into sessions so you’re not working too much at once.

When you take care of your physical health by having proper nutrition and sleep, then you can focus on two key factors to improving productivity, which are motivation and preventing distractions.

Sanders says, “It is important to understand how powerful our children are when they are motivated.”

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