By Lauren Pastrana

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MIAMI (CBSMIAMI) – You know the saying, “It’s better to give than to receive.”

Sometimes, kids need to be reminded.

Boys Town of South Florida Psychologist Diane Andreou has some practical tips to keep children from becoming greedy Grinches this year.

Today’s “Lauren’s List” lays out the ideas for making sure your kids become good at giving.

Teach Gratitude
When your children receive a gift, teach them to pause and savor the moment. Focus on the generosity and kindness of the giver and talk about how the child will benefit from the gift, rather than how much the item cost or what it looks like. Dr. Andreou says you should have them say a verbal thank you, and better yet, write a note, too.

Make a “Give” List
The wish lists can get out of control, so put limits and then turn your attention to concentrating on gifts they want to give. Encourage your kids to create homemade gifts as well as give gifts of service, like reading to a sibling, or spending time helping grandparents with household chores.

Follow Donation Rule
This works well in my house all year-round! When your child gets something, have him or her give something away. Require that your children select gently used toys and clothes to donate to others. Remind your children that people are in need every day. This is a great rule to apply to yourself, too!

Volunteer
Finally, the gift of time is often even more valuable than stuff. Get out in the community and take your kids with you! Have them help serve a warm meal to those in need, or recruit them to wrap and deliver gifts. Afterward, take time to discuss with your children what they learned from their experience.

Will you be talking to your kids about giving this year?

Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have an idea for a future “Lauren’s List”, send it to lpastrana@cbs.com.

Lauren Pastrana

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