Pop quiz on the science of generosity

Research reveals some surprisingly easy ways to teach your child to be generous.
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Illustrations by Andrew Torrens

If you love this, check out our animated videos about teaching your child to be curious, forgiving, diligent, grateful, and honest — and check out our collection of articles, videos, and infographics about how to teach your child six important character virtues: honesty, curiosity, grit, generosity, gratitude, and forgiveness.

Resources and links

A 2015 Belgian study found that young adults who had experienced more family-style meals in childhood scored higher on tests of altruism.

Parents’ talk about emotions is associated with sharing and helping in toddlers.

A series of studies found that simple reciprocal activities triggered generous behavior in children as young as 1 and 2.

6 surprising, research-backed ways to raise generous kids.

Meet 6 real-life generosity heroes.

About the author

GreatSchools.org is a national nonprofit with a mission to help every child obtain a high-quality education that values their unique abilities, identities, and aspirations. We believe in the power of research-backed, actionable information to empower parents, family members, and educators to help make this happen. For 25 years, the GreatSchools Editorial Team has been working to make the latest, most important, and most actionable research in education, learning, and child development accessible and actionable for parents through articles, videos, podcasts, hands-on learning resources, email and text messaging programs, and more. Our team consists of journalists, researchers, academics, former teachers and education leaders — most of whom are also dedicated parents and family members — who not only research, fact check, and write or produce this information, but who use it in our daily lives as well. We welcome your feedback at editorial@greatschools.org.