Do your children or with their playdates dissolve into battles over every toy in the room? Then it is time to teach your child the important life lesson of sharing. Sharing can be a hard concept for young children to grasp. But with time and consistency you should be able to teach your child a very important life lesson.
Check out these 5 tips you can use to teach your children about sharing.
As you might have already heard or know, children learn best by example. Make sharing a regular part of your family life. Tell your child or children in your house that everyone shares everything. For example, you can tell them that everyone shares the chores in the house and assign them a few tasks they can do at their age.
You can role-model the part of sharing by offering a snack you are eating to your child. Explain that “Mommy is sharing her apple with you.” Then next time you can ask, “Will you share your apple with Mommy?”
Remember to praise your child when she or he shares something with you.
Prepare before playdates
If you have invited a playdate over for your child, make sure you prep before the day. Place toy away your child knows she cannot bare to let another child play with, such as a favorite stuff animal she might sleep with every night. Explain to your child before their playdate arrives that their toys are for everyone to play with and enjoy. You can also remind your child that when they go to someone else’s house about how much they had fun playing together when playing and sharing their toys.
Compliment your child
It’s equally important to praise your child for being good. Compliment your child that they are sharing nicely and that you are proud of them when they do that. The reinforcement can help remind your child to play nice and to share. Your child is likely to continue to play nicely and share for future playdates or with their siblings.
Let them learn on their own
If you see your child take a toy away from his friend or sibling, give them a chance to see how they handle it. Sometimes they might continue to play without a fuss or solve the problem on their own. This is a great way for children to learn to interact with others and how to act and manage difficult situations on their own.
Don’t refuse to intervene
Sometimes you might have to intervene. For example, if your child takes a toy away from her friend or their sibling and makes them cry then that when you can take action. Tell your child, “That’s not very nice your friend or sibling was playing with that,” and then find a way to solve the problem or have them start another activity.
Overall, it is up to you to help transform your child to learn about sharing. It can take time to see results of your child learning to sharing with others. By keeping consistent and teaching your child to share you may soon see they are sharing on their own accord.