For Holidays: Teach Kids with "Give to Get" Rule


With the holidays approaching, most kids anticipate all the presents they're going to get. But the festive season is also a great time to show kids how to give back to others. Dr. Anne Corwin of explains how you can teach children empathy by using the "Give to Get" rule.

The "Give to Get" rule is as follows: If your child is receiving a gift, he should give something that he owns to someone else -- maybe to a charity, a neighbor, or one of his friends who's been coveting a particular toy of his. This teaches empathy, and helps kids learn to put themselves in other people's shoes.

Because children are concrete thinkers, they may not truly understand if you take some toys from their room, put them in a bag and drop them off at a charity -- to them, their toys are just going away, rather than being given to another child.

If you can, try to arrange for your child to give a toy directly to another kid -- take it to a child care center, give it to a neighbor, or let a friend have it. Then your kid can see the delighted look on someone else's face as they receive the gift your child is giving them. That way, your child will really understand the power of giving.


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