Have you ever had a bad thought or word come into your mind? It is not a good feeling. Sometimes they come all by themselves. But you can make them leave!
Your mind can think of only one thing at a time, so when a bad thought or word comes into your mind, pull it out and plant a good thought in its place: Sing a favorite Primary song or hymn. Make a list in your mind of all your blessings, and say them out loud. Think of the beautiful things in nature that Heavenly Father and Jesus have created for you.
Your eyes and your ears send messages to your mind. Most of the time, you can choose what will enter your mind. You invite good thoughts or bad ones by what you choose to look at or listen to. The thirteenth article of faith helps us know what to choose. It says, “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”
When you watch TV or a video, ask yourself, “If Jesus were watching television with me, would I want to watch this program?” If not, turn off the TV or leave the room. When you listen to music, ask yourself, “Would this music be pleasing to Heavenly Father?” If not, turn the music off or leave the room.
We need reminders every day to help us make these important choices. On the next page, you will find reminder buttons and a reminder bookmark that can be placed on a TV, a radio, a tape player, or in a book.
Carefully color the reminder buttons and the bookmark, then cut them out. Fold the tops of the reminder buttons along the broken lines. Secure the folded tab on the button to the top of your TV, radio, or tape player with tape or with a small weight, and let the bottom part hang down where you can easily see the reminder. Use the bookmark in the books you read.
Identify situations where children can make a media choice. For example: (a) You are at your friend’s house, and he or she wants to watch a video your parents do not approve of. What should you do? (b) You are watching a TV show and realize that it is very violent. What should you do? (c) You are riding in the backseat of a car. The music on the radio is loud and irreverent. What should you do?
. Invite a panel of adult members, including a member of the bishopric, to discuss with the children the kinds of media choices that they (the panel) had to make when they were young and what helped them make good choices. Each panel member could take a few minutes to discuss the topic. Teachers could help children formulate questions to ask panel members.
Gather materials—such as stories, games, crafts, or puzzles—to be used as alternatives to TV or video viewing. Place them in a box or envelope for each child. Let the children decorate the boxes or envelopes. Add items over a period of several weeks.
Explain that choosing to think about the beautiful things that Heavenly Father and Jesus have placed on the earth can make us feel good. Show pictures of or items from nature—such as seeds, fruit, leaves, flowers, an egg—and talk about them. Then have each child draw a picture of something he or she can think about that will bring feelings of love and thanksgiving.