In a parents perfect world their children would share all of their toys without a single squabble, but in the real world…rarely does that happen. Learning how to share takes lots of practice throughout childhood. We teach our children to share so they learn to become giving and compassionate, as well as mastering those useful and necessary lifelong personal and social skills. Quickly diffusing sharing battles is one of the best opportunities for teaching children to share. One way to do this is to allow children to have a specific time allotment with a toy, and then have them pass the toy on to another child when their time is up. Have each child do the same over and over again. Play games that encourage sharing. The more children are taught to share, the more they will. Read stories together that focus on sharing, while emphasizing throughout the story how great it is to share. Also have your children share things other than toys and books, such as an article of clothing or a favorite food. You want to make sharing a positive “feel good” thing in the child’s mind, something for your child to be proud about being able to do. There are times when it’s ok not to share too, so don’t always pressure a child that he or she has no choice in the matter. As we have come to know, babies seem to be born with a built-in “it’s mine” gene, so be prepared for it to take a good amount of practice and lost battles before a total victory can be claimed. As always, repetition and praise is the key to success.
Tell us about any funny “sharing” stories you have experienced with your children, we’d love to post them here! Additional tips and advice are more than welcome too! Just click on “Comment” above!