6 Best Tips to Teaching Your Toddler how to share
6 Best Tips to Teaching your Toddler how to share
In this article, you will learn about 6 best tips to teaching your toddler how to share. Sharing is a vital life skill. It’s something toddlers and children need to learn so they can make and keep friends, and play cooperatively. Once your child starts having playdates and going to child care, preschool or kindergarten, he’ll need to be able to share with others.
Sharing teaches children about compromise and fairness. They learn that if we give a little to others, we can get some of what we want as well. Children who share also learn how to take turns and negotiate, and how to cope with disappointment. These are all important life skills.
Here’s 6 tips how you can teach your child to share:
1. Share with your Child
In your own interactions with your child, consciously demonstrate and describe sharing. For example, at snack time, say “let’s share this piece of fruit. Here’s a slice for you and here’s one for me.” Or, when building with blocks, say “here, you take a turn and put this one on, then I’ll put one on. We’re sharing the blocks.”
2. Praise your Child when you see her sharing
Kids respond best to positive reinforcement. You’ll have more luck praising your child when he’s behaving than pointing out when he’s not. No one likes to learn where he went wrong or the ways he hasn’t been behaving. This applies to sharing as well. Praise him when he shares with others, no matter how small the gesture. You might praise him for thinking of others, for taking turns, or offering a beloved toy to his little brother. These simple praises will be more effective at promoting sharing than reprimanding him each time he doesn’t.
3. Don’t Force a child to share
Instead, create attitudes and an environment that encourage your child to want to share. There is power in possession. To you, they’re only toys. To a child, they’re a valuable, prized collection that has taken years to assemble. Respect the normal possessiveness of children while you encourage and model sharing.
Then watch how your child operates in a group play setting, you’ll learn a lot about your child and about what kind of guidance he’ll need. If your child is always the grabber, he’ll learn that other kids won’t want to play with him. If he’s always the victim, he needs to learn the power of saying “no.” In the preschool years your child naturally goes through a “what’s in it for me” stage, which will progress into a more socially aware “what’s in it for us” stage. Gradually, with a little help from parents, children learn that life runs more smoothly if they share.
4. Demonstrate Emotional generosity.
Engage in activities and share experiences that boost happiness. A happy and emotionally secure child is more likely to share with others. Teach your toddler to value shared experiences over toys and other possessions.
5. Play games
Play “Share Daddy.” Placing the two-year-old on one knee and the four-year-old on the other teaches both children to share their special person. Even a two-year-old can play “Share Your Wealth.” Give your two-year-old some flowers, crackers, blocks, or toys, and ask her to share them with everyone in the room: “Give one to big brother. Give one to Daddy.”
You want to convey the message that sharing is a normal way of life and sharing spreads joy. Lauren found a piece of chocolate in my (Martha’s) purse the other day. She happily ate it and then showed me a second piece she’d found. I told her that piece was for Stephen and Matthew to share and asked her to go give it to them, thinking to myself she’d just eat it on her way. I didn’t bother to go with her to see the “inevitable.” Bill later told me how cute it was when she walked up and doled out the halves, one to Stephen and one to Matthew.”
6. Don’t solve their Social Conflicts
You hear the kids fight, and your first instinct is to rush to the room and put an end to it. The whining and yelling are grating to your ears. You also don’t want their fight to get any worse. And sometimes, it seems like what a “good parent” should do. Except solving their social conflicts—whether with siblings or even another child at the park—denies them the opportunity to learn how to share on their own.
Yes, children can devise ways to come up with their own solutions to sharing—if we give them the chance to. The next time your kids fight, hang back for a minute or so, even if it seems like they’re not getting anywhere.