For most privileged children, the holiday season is a time for receiving gifts from family, friends, and even mythical or religious figures. They put together wish lists, make their sales pitches, and hope that when the time comes for them to open that bag or unwrap that paper, the newest toy or latest gadget they’ve been dying to get their hands on will be inside.

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But what if children were also given the power to offer their parents a valuable gift that they wish they could receive? The good people at UPtv put together a Christmas themed social experiment involving a number of children from the Metro Atlanta Boys & Girls Clubs. The children were first asked what they were hoping for most this Christmas, followed by what they believed one of their parents would love to receive.

Both gifts are then brought into the room and placed in front of the children with one catch: they have to choose between the gift for themselves and the gift for their parents. Check it out:

In my opinion, the most powerful lesson that comes from this social experiment is the realization that children, although most often preoccupied by their own experience, do indeed pay attention to their parents’ moods and desires. The relationship may seem largely one sided, especially given how much a typical parent naturally needs to provide for their child, but it truthfully is quite reciprocal.

Aside from the loving connection and bond, children do have within them the desire to assist their parents, they just more than likely do not have the resources necessary to do it in the same sense. When empowered, however, as we saw in this video, they were happy to give rather than receive in appreciation for the love and support they are endlessly offered.

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I encourage you all, whether you are a parent or not, to share in love and appreciation this holiday season and remember to:

Give the gift of presence, rather than just the gift of presents.

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