Learning to share can be a challenge for younger children especially with their exciting new toys after the holidays! Not only is sharing a skill they need for play and educational purposes throughout their childhood but it plays an important part in bonding with other children around them. Don’t worry moms and dads, teaching your child the importance of sharing as well as how to share isn’t as complicated as it seems. Here are some simple strategies that you can use to encourage your little ones to share:
- Be a role model – Model sharing with friends and family members. Explain to your child why you are sharing and the benefits of sharing. As I’m sure you already know, children are great observers and imitators!
- Teach ways to share – If your child doesn’t always want to share, help them by coming up with a solution or giving them an alternative. For example, “I’m playing with the blue car right now, but here’s a fire truck you can use and we can play together.”
- Share for a short time – When children agree to share something for a little while, use a visual timer or play a song to help your child understand when it is their turn again based on the amount of time that has passed.
- Keep special toys separate from other toys – If your little ones have special toys that they are less likely to share, put them in a different area when friends come over to play. Leave out a variety of toys that your child would be willing to share.
- Use toys that encourage sharing – Toys such as puzzles, balls and blocks encourage children to share and play together.
Learning to share can be a long process. Even some adults are still working on it! Rather than dreading moments of struggle between children, consider them to be rich opportunities to help your child learn critical skills such as communication, empathy and conflict resolution. All of which will help them become better at sharing!