Learning to share is a vital life skill which is important for children to learn in their younger years. When children see something they want, they can become so focused they can only think about that. This becomes a problem if another child has the object of your child’s desire. ‘Traditional’ sharing often expects children to give up a toy as soon as another child wants it. How would we react if someone came up and wanted to use something we were using? What would we say?
Like so much parenting, what we say and do and how we behave impacts our child. If your child sees you sharing and taking turns in everyday life, you offer him/her a great example. Children often love to share, especially when they feel secure and supported and are relaxed.
Tips for encouraging good sharing
- When you see good sharing, comment on it. Always be positive
- Introduce the idea of waiting and an awareness of others
- Looks for books or movies which have this theme and read or watch together.
- When your child shares or takes turns, praise them.
- Play games that require turns and comment on whose turn it is. Cards are good for this.
- If your child is invited to a party, or to someone’s house, prepare him/her by talking about sharing and taking turns.
- If other children are coming to your house, it might be good to put very special toys away.
Toddlers generally don’t understand the concept of sharing but can begin to understand taking turns. Preschoolers can understand sharing but to learn the skill will still need time. Looks for ways to allow your child to practice these skills and develop them.
When sharing is hard
- Practise sharing between you and your child – in a game, or a snack, or doing a job.
- If you have another child over to play, stay nearby reminding them both about sharing or taking turns; sometimes it might be good to play with them for a while.
- Introduce consequences – the result of not sharing; but ensure they are related to the item not being shared and are appropriate.
Angel’s Paradise Early Education Centre aims to offer quality care and a good educational program within a warm, happy and secure environment.