Sharing is probably one of the most important lessions you can teach your child. Do you remember the old adage “Sharing is Caring.”? Perhaps we can use this little ditty to explain why sharing is so important. Here are a few ideas that may help teach your child to share.
Children learn by example. Don't forget, you are their best role model. If your child notices that you share with others, it may induce your toddler to do the same. However, kids will be kids, and as such they tend to guard what is theirs with a passion. To this end, perhaps you can utilize these tips:
- Tell your toddler that not sharing may mean his friends will not want to share with him either.
- If your toddler doesn’t want to share, explain why it’s important to share.
- Take the toys in question away; if your toddler doesn’t want to share – then no one will play with the toys.
- Never yell at the toddler, but be firm in your reprimands. Yelling rarely gets you anywhere and does not set a good example.
- If your toddler screams and carries on; give the toddler a time out, or what I like to do is a time in and sit down with your child, talk to him or her and make sure there is not really some other issue that is causing the problem.
- Thank your child for sharing his toys with others.
- Teach your toddler to think of others and how happy it makes them when they share their toys.
- If other toddlers are invited over, ask your toddler to pick out some toys to put away. But also remind him the toys left out can be shared with everyone.
- Teach by example; show your child how you are willing to share something you own.
- Finally, start very young. When my youngest was just a few months old and could sit up we would start playing a game. I would give him a toy and whenever he gave it back I would smile profusely, say 'thankyou' and give it back to him. Now when we are playing together he routinely shares his toys with me and his big brother.
If everythign fails, remember this is probably a stage your toddler will outgrow. However, it is important to instill in your child that sharing and giving is important. Try not to give in to everything your toddler wants or buy your toddler a present every time you give another child or their sibling a present. Your child is little but also needs to understand the importance of sharing, and how heartwarming it is to share and coorperate with others.