Not to ruin the Christmas spirit, but its important to mention, and all parents should know, that the child’s happiness isn’t measured by the number of toys under the Christmas tree but rather the number of experiences that the child has had through the year.
Studies have shown that showering your kids in thousands of toys can actually have quite the opposite effect and does not necessarily make them happier, but instead, they end up less happy!
Childhood development researcher, Clair Lerner, suggests that when children are given many toys, they actually played less and were constantly distracted and overwhelmed, making them unable to concentrate on single toy and learn more about it.
In support of Ms. Lerner’s findings, a professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Cincinnati, Mr. Michael Malone showed in his research, then when children had less toy to play, they developed valuable life skills such as cooperation and sharing. In contrast, too many toys inspire more solitary play while causing a sense of unproductive overload.
And if you needed even more convincing with the toy giving, researchers have found that gratitude and generosity increase when you give experiences rather then objects.
A psychology professor, Thomas Gilovich at Cornell University, carried many studies over several decades and discovered that happiness is derived from experiences, not things.
So instead of stressing out if you have got enough toys under the Christmas tree, think about the year ahead and what you can actually do to make your child a healthier and happier person.
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