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Hospiten: The four-gift rule enhances children’s frustration tolerance during the holidays

Hospiten offers insights into a Christmas holiday approach aimed at cultivating children's sense of value and gratitude for their gifts.

The four-gift rule is a thoughtful Christmas holiday strategy designed to instill a sense of value and appreciation in children for what they receive. It works by providing children with four specific types of gifts: a book to engage their minds and ignite their imagination; an article of clothing, accessory, or pair of shoes to meet their practical needs; an essential item they require for everyday life; and finally, a coveted toy they’ve been looking forward to, offering a sense of excitement and joy.

Silvia Morales, a psychologist at Hospiten Roca, suggests that parents can enhance the effectiveness of this technique by involving their children in the process. She recommends writing a letter to the Three Wise Men together, which not only fosters valuable family bonding time but also opens a dialogue about which gifts are meaningful and appropriate. Morales advises selecting toys that aren’t just fun but also promote the development of crucial skills, including social interaction, cognitive growth, motor skills, and emotional regulation.

Hospiten: The four-gift rule enhances children's frustration tolerance during the holidays

Morales believes that this four-gift rule isn’t just about the gifts themselves; it’s about the experience and lessons they bring. By participating in these family activities and discussions, children learn to deal with anticipation and manage disappointment, thereby developing a healthy tolerance for frustration. They also become more mindful of the effort and thought that goes into the giving and receiving of gifts.

However, Morales cautions against the danger of parents overcompensating for their absence or lack of time with an excess of gifts. This overindulgence can backfire, leading children to expect an abundance of presents and thus diminishing their ability to appreciate each one. This habit can foster a sense of entitlement, materialism, and ingratitude, negatively impacting their creativity and focus.

About the Hospiten Group

The Hospiten Group, where Morales practices, has a longstanding commitment to providing top-tier healthcare services. With over 50 years of experience and a network of 20 private medical-hospital centers across Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica, and Panama, as well as over 100 outpatient medical centers under the Clinic Assist brand, the group stands as a testament to quality care and international reach. Founded by Dr. Pedro Luis Cobiella, Hospiten serves over two million patients globally each year and employs a dedicated team of over 5,000 professionals, all committed to healthcare excellence.

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