Teaching Empathy

Rebecca Sears is constantly working to teach her own teenaged daughter about the relational model of connection. At holiday time, Sears began to think about how to apply this aim to gift-giving. “In a time when kids already have more than enough, I was considering a gift with lasting meaning,” she recalls. When she learned of a project connecting Sri Lankan tsunami survivors with sponsoring penpals in the U.S., Sears decided that “adopting” two sisters was a great way to remember the connections between people around the world. “Her stocking was filled with stationery and overseas stamps. While I hope this gift had meaning for her, I know I felt better not just filling the season with overspending and overindulgence!” Sears remarked. Looking for ways to combine family celebrations with remembrances of those less fortunate is an effective way for parents to help their children stay grounded, she adds.