Many parents still reminisce about growing up on streets where people did not lock their doors, children were able to play outside until dark when parents whistled for them to come home and life was idyllic.
Childhood today is much different and exposure to video games, violence on television and in movies, and changing social dynamics with the rise of digital communications are a few of the factors that can be attributed to degrading positive character traits. Schools attempt to teach children wrong from right, but if you pay close attention to the recent news around the country, it’s difficult to see if kids know the difference at all.
Recently CNN featured a special report called “Being 13”, the result of a two-year study about what kids do (and live) on social media. While the report was fantastic, the findings were difficult to watch, especially the kids in the study who were unclear (or unapologetic) about any wrongdoing and their parents who appeared shocked their “little angel” would do such things.
It’s clear that something has to change, and very soon. To help answer the call, LeapSpring, an Arizona-based company, has developed Zingity, a free app that combines technology with hands-on activities to help children 5-15 develop positive character. Much like the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, Zingity helps children to reconnect with their natural sense of creativity, imagination and high energy to complete fun activity packs and develop character.
Somewhere along the way our kids forgot how to be kids. Maybe it’s all the technology or maybe it’s the fact that parents guard them too much, but our kids are moving away from developing strong character and tapping into the natural behavior of kids. Hopefully Zingity will be able to help kids find their way back to being just kids, as well as develop strong character.
Using Zingity, parents can select character traits they want to improve or build in their children. At present, there are nearly 50 positive character traits ranging from love and accountability to bravery and good sportsmanship. Once traits are selected, Zingity recommends activity packs to parents that support those character traits.
For example, the Kindness is Contagious activity pack gives parents a description about how the 12 activities inside will inspire their children to be kind to others. Activities suggested in each pack are open ended so children can use their imaginations to decide how to execute them. Each activity is assigned a point value so children can watch as they earn points for each project they complete and move closer to completing the activity pack and receiving a reward. By finishing activity packs, children also receive badges in the app that they collect to honor their accomplishments and provide visual reinforcement and reminders of the positive achievements they have made.
Zingity was created to meet the requests of parents who were looking for something more during a time when character issues have sparked major concerns for professional sports, the entertainment industry and corporate America. By using Zingity regularly at home, parents are able to enhance The Six Pillars of Character (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship) that are already incorporated into many aspects of elementary education. The activity packs were carefully designed in collaboration with leading child psychologists to ensure alignment to important character traits that should be built from a young age.
“Your child’s brain development is “activity-dependent,” noted well-known Pediatric Psychologist and author Lynne Kenney. “What you do with your child in every domain, sensory, motor, emotional, cognitive, social shapes how your child develops. Zingity will help build social competence and character. It’s ‘The Activity Idea App’ for families.”
Find out more about Zingity here, or download the free IOS app from the app store.