All children go through a phase where they just don’t want to share anything with anyone, especially other children. When someone else tries to play with your toy or eat your snack, they hold onto your belongings even if they weren’t interested in that toy or snack a few seconds ago.
Learning the importance of sharing creates harmonious playtime and a strong bond between children. Follow these 5 effective tips to teach your child to share:
Teach the concept of taking turns
Ideally, as soon as your child learns to understand, one important thing to teach him is the concept of taking turns. As he plays, teach him to share by passing a toy or object back and forth and saying “your turn” and “mom’s turn.” According to experts, learning to take turns is the first step to sharing.
Be an example to follow
Children tend to imitate what they see and observe around them. As much as possible, be a role model and demonstrate the importance of sharing with your young child. For example, you are eating a sandwich. Divide it in two and tell your child: “Mom is sharing her snack with Dad, do you want to share yours with Dad too?”
Praise sharing in simple everyday activities.
Young children need to be able to understand that sharing is a good thing and they need to be reminded from time to time. If you shared something with someone (even without them knowing), praise them for the action. If he’s sitting on the couch watching TV, ask, “Can Mom come and sit with you?” If he says yes, compliment him and say “Thanks for sharing the couch with me!”
Establish a system for taking turns with toys.
One thing you can try during play dates (make sure the other parents are on board) is to set a timer for how long each child can play with a toy. When the timer goes off, it’s time for your little one to give the toy to his playmate. When the timer goes off again, your child will retrieve the toy. This helps him understand that when he lets other children play with his toys, he will get them back.
Over time, your child will understand the concept. Follow these powerful tips to teach your child to share – it’s an important foundation for good behavior when they grow up!