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  • Hardeep Singh

#15 - Teach your kids to SHARE !!!

Learning to share can be a challenge for young children, but sharing is a skill they need for play and learning throughout childhood. You can help your child learn to share by giving her plenty of time and opportunities to practice. Through our research, we discovered Praise and encouragement are the best way to best get kids to share.

Why sharing is important

Sharing is a vital life skill. It’s something toddlers and children need to learn to 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. 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 really important life skills.

Helping your child learn about sharing

Children learn a lot from just watching what their parents do. When you model good sharing and turn taking in your family, it gives your children a great example to follow. Children also need opportunities to learn about and practice sharing. Here are some ways to encourage sharing in everyday life: one of the best way to encourage sharing is to point out good sharing in others. You can say things like, ‘Your friend was sharing her toys really well. That was very kind of her’. When you see your child trying to share or take turns, make sure you give lots of praise and attention. For example, ‘I liked the way you let Aziz play with your train. Great sharing! ‘Play games with your child that involve sharing and turn-taking. Talk your child through the steps, saying things like, ‘Now it’s my turn to build the tower, then it’s your turn. You share the red blocks with me, and I’ll share the green blocks with you’.

Consequences for not sharing

It can help to create consequences when children don’t share. For instance, if siblings are fighting over a toy and not sharing, a reasonable consequence might be to take away the toy from both of them for a short period of time. When you use consequences for not sharing, it’s important that the consequences relate to the thing that’s being shared – or not shared! For example, if children aren’t sharing a toy train, you might take the train away. Neither child can play with the train, so this feels fair to both. It can also get your children thinking about what they need to do if they want to play with their toy together. When you think they’re ready, you can give the toy back so your children get another chance to show they can share.

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