Children should understand the importance of sharing. It helps them make new friends, as well as keep them. Parents are responsible for teaching children how and why they should share. Children must be taught that if they care for other children, then they will respond in kind. This blog post will share with you tips on how you can teach your child to share things with others.
Sharing among children is important because it makes every child feel as part of a group. By sharing, children learn to play together, stay friends with one another, cooperate, and amicably find solutions to problems among themselves. Sharing also teaches children that everyone should be treated fairly, and sometimes compromising is essential.
For your child to know about sharing, you must start sharing with them. If you are eating a banana, offer them a banana. Do they like to play with your crafting pencils? Let them draw whatever they want with one of your pencils.
Let your child observe what sharing feels like by showing good behavior. Also, share things with your neighbors and draw your child’s attention to such acts of sharing. Let them observe how sharing affects others’ behavior and how someone responds to sharing.
What you should do is give your child an environment in which they can comfortably share things. Usually, children are very possessive about their belongings - which are toys in most cases. You may see toys as just toys, but, for a child, their toys are a precious collection. That’s why, you also need to respect the normal possessive behavior of your child.
Instead of forcing, take your child to a playground for example. In such places, your child will get the chance to see other children sharing - which will encourage your child to share. Remind your little one that if they only grab things, and don’t share, then other children won’t play with them. However, it is equally essential to teach your child to say ‘no’, if they’re being treated unfairly.
When teaching a child to share, use explicit and implicit language to correct behavior. Parents are naturally prone to immediately dive in if their child is in trouble. They try to soothe a situation before it even escalates. Now, if you see that your child is being a bit stubborn about sharing with another child, give direct or indirect verbal cues.
Here are a few examples of using language to get a positive response:
- Looks like John wants to play with the dinky cars too, how about we share the dinkies so both of you can have fun?
- I think Alice wants to play with the dolls, why don’t you both play together!
- I think you love playing with the kitchen set a lot. Is there a reason why other kids are not playing with you?
By using explicit language and giving implicit verbal cues as suggestions, you can help your little one communicate their feelings. At a very young age, your toddler, preschooler or school-going baby doesn’t know how to express their feelings verbally. They do not have the vocabulary and language expression to tell parents how they feel and what they want. By being verbal, you encourage your child to say what they think and tell them that sharing is a more suitable option.
You need to stay active and aware of opportunities you can use to teach your child something about sharing. Sometimes, your child may be willing to share, but another child does not want to share. Such situations can prove to be a hurdle. But, what you should do instead is see this situation as an opportunity to teach your child about sharing from a different angle.
You can have your little one to properly know or inquire about why their friend does not want to share. You can also suggest through direct language. For example, you tell your child that maybe the toy is special for their friend. And suggest if your child has something else to play with. This way, your child learns to understand or be okay if another child doesn’t want to share.
Among all the toys and other items your little one has, they may not be ready to share a few. In this case, you should realize this behavior is normal. And sometimes it is okay to let your child do what they want, even if what they do is not in their favor. Not forcing your child to share, is also a part of teaching to share.
If you choose to force your child, then things can turn harder for you. It may result in your efforts backfiring, and making the child feel as if they’re being treated unfairly. This way, you will only ignite resentment in your child, rather than encourage them to be generous.
The best thing you can do is let your little one pre-select the toys before they go to play with friends. You can have your kiddo choose and take toys they would want to share, and leave the ones they don’t want to share.
Also Read: The Importance of Kids’ Playroom at Home
As parents, we want our little ones to understand the importance of sharing, and happily share with friends. But, getting your child to share with a happy face can be hard to do. Therefore, we have outlined the above 5 ways you can foster a sense of ‘sharing is caring’ in your child. Little by little, you can encourage your kiddo to take small steps toward becoming someone who loves to share with others.