Sharing Is Caring
Learning to share is one of the most important skills that every child must learn in order to evolve into a productive adult. Of course, as most parents know, children sharing is a lot easier said than done! Everyone knows a sweet and gentle toddler who breaks loose when their long forgotten toy captures the interest of another toddler. Or, the child who keeps all of the bickies to themselves at snack time. This certainly won’t help them gain many friends, but what’s a parent to do?
As difficult as it is to make your child share when they really don’t want to, there are some things you can do to help move the process along. Remember these 3 important things now and you’ll likely have a youngster who finds it easier to share and get along with others later.
1 – Be Age Appropriate.
Toddlers: It’s difficult for very young children to understand the concept of sharing. To them, you’re simply taking away something they really want. Start with the concept that giving something away is only temporary and they can have it back when it’s their turn. School Age: Children become more aware as they get older and head toward kindergarten and school. They discover that other people have feelings, too. Parents can build on this idea to help them understand that sharing is caring by helping them consider others’ feelings.
2 – Practise Makes Perfect.
“Play games with your child that requires sharing and turn-taking; talk your child through the steps” says Raising Children Network. For instance, GAMES & PUZZLES require sharing and turn taking for school age children. Parents can also arrange playdates with other children so that sharing can be done in a controlled environment. Be sure to give praise for a job done well as children love to know that they are pleasing their parents.
3 – Be A Role Model.
Naturally, young children often imitate the things that they see adults doing; this is how they start playing dress-up, teacher, or police officer. If your child sees you sharing with others, they will pick up on the cues you model. Try taking turns and sharing with your little one directly to show them how fun it can be.