Sharing is caring they say, but what happens when you have a child who is possessively attached their belongings? Teaching the ability to share between peers and siblings can be quite the challenge for both parents and caregivers. It’s an important skill to teach children. Just how can you go about teaching your child to be a sharing pro? Here are some ways you can teach children sharing, that won’t involve too many tantrums.
Teach Children Sharing
- Understand Sharing Requires Empathy – around age 2 your child can start to understand a bit of generosity, which includes having empathy towards other children. At this stage you can start to work with your child to use simple examples of how they would feel if a friend wouldn’t let them have a turn playing with a loved toy.
- Don’t Force Sharing – try to refrain from forced attempts at making your child share a beloved item because this will only decrease their chances to associating sharing with a good feeling. Learn to use empathy as a tool, reverse psychology and a bit of encouraging words to assist in directing your child to share more often.
- Demonstrate Through Example – make it loud and clear to your child when you are sharing something with another person. If you have given a bit of your snack for example to your child, make it a point to explain that is part of sharing and discuss how that makes your child feel so as a means to be the leading example in sharing.
- Play Team Games – no matter how old your child is, you can start having a regular family activity night where you play team sport games that allow your child to creatively use sharing for fun. This is a passive way to lead your child towards sharing more often, because they will be learning how to work together as well as take turns when playing team games.
- Set a Timer – if dealing with the issue of siblings who won’t share, or supervising a group of children, start using a timer. Having a timer beep to signal when it’s time to pass the toy along to a friend or sibling will help remove a human being from the scenario which can alleviate the arguments of taking turns.
- Respect Boundaries – teach your child to have some boundaries, allow your children to have one specific toy that is never shared. Allow your child to set some boundaries with sharing so that they feel as if they are not having everything taken away from them by a friend or sibling. This teaches your child to learn good give and take skills alongside the concept of sharing.
If you work to remain consistent at implementing each of the ways listed here to teach your child to share, you will be surprised at how quickly you can teach children sharing. Your child goes from a possessive child to a generous child. Sharing IS truly caring.