You can train your child to develop valuable character traits such as selflessness. Activities designed to introduce the concept of selflessness and to reinforce a child's selfless decisions will strengthen your child's willingness and ability to put the needs of others before your child's own desires. Use modeling, positive reinforcement and concrete language to help your child grow.
Teaching your child to become involved in what others want to do is one way to help your child develop selflessness and empathy for others' desires. When your child is playing with blocks, dolls or toy cars, tell your child that it's "teamwork time." Let one child pick an idea for a game or goal, such as building a fire station or having the dolls go to the mall, then guide your child and the other children toward working together to play that game. Let a new child pick the focus after an age-appropriate amount of time passes.
You can develop empathy and selflessness in children who enjoy playing pretend or dress-up by pretending to switch places. Think of a situation in which your child is usually selfish or demanding. Let your child dress up as you, while you pretend to be your child. Set up the situation with reversed roles by helping your child pretend to prepare dinner or take a rest after work. Act demanding in a way that parallels your child's common behavior, then help your child think of ways you could be more selfless and replay the situation with selfless behavior.
Letting a child help serve a meal provides an opportunity for that child to practice the actions and attitudes of sharing. As you serve the parts of the meal that are hot or could cause messy spills, choose a simple item like toast or biscuits for your child to put on each plate. Guide your child to serve others first, then tell your child to take one for herself, if she would like one. Reinforce your child's selfless behavior by thanking her for letting others go first, and then have the people she served thank her as she gives them food.
Board and Card Games
Board games and card games can help older children practice taking turns and working as a team. An easy way to modify any game into a practice in communication and compromise is to put kids on two-person teams instead of having individual players. Add a rule that both teammates have to agree before they can act on a decision. Kids can develop their own approach to reach compromise, such as taking turns leading or discussing each choice.