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How to teach children about sharing?

Sharing is a fundamental life skill and is an important milestone in a child’s development. It teaches children about compromise and fairness. They begin to understand the meaning of taking turns and giving chance.  It becomes an integral part of their lives when they start going to playschool, day-care, or kindergarten.  However, young children might have difficulty sharing and it is a normal part of their development.   While growing up children develop attachments to people and things. This is an important ability in an emotionally healthy child. Knowing and accepting this is the first step toward teaching children about sharing.

Teaching your children to share can be challenging but it can be done by following these tips:

Bond with your child:

Children who are close to their parents and who received attachment parenting are less reluctant to share. Children who are attached to their parents in the initial years tend to share as a child attached to their parent has a secure self-image. They get enough love and affection from their loved ones and do not need to validate their worth, therefore, they require fewer attachment objects.

Children who have been at the receiving end of generosity follow the model they have been given and become generous themselves.

Lead by Example

Children learn best through observation and imitation. If you want your children to learn to share, then you must make sure that you are modeling good sharing behavior yourself. Start sharing with them or share with others in front of them. While sharing things, it is vital to draw your child’s attention to the action.  To teach sharing effectively, we must show them how fun sharing can be.

Cooking and playing are two great opportunities to demonstrate sharing. You share your food with your child or your partner and show them how exciting it is. Ask them if they are ready to share. When you notice your children sharing with others, praise them for their actions. It will encourage them to share. The goal is to highlight the act of sharing in a positive light.

Talk about sharing

You will have to make sure that your child knows what sharing is. For that, you will have to explain the concept of sharing in simple, easy-to-understand terms that are appropriate for the child’s age and development. Talk to children about how sharing can help them make friends and build relationships, as well as how it can benefit the community.

You can also teach them about charity and donate the toys they longer use to charity. Involving them to do charity work or social work is a good way to teach them that sharing makes the world a better place.

It is a good idea to discuss sharing when your child has a playdate. Let them know that it is normal to play with a friend’s toys and vice versa.

Encourage your children to think from their friend’s position. If you find your child fighting with their friends over sharing, intervene immediately and remove the child from the situation till they have calmed down. Once they are calm, discuss the situation with them in a thoughtful and compassionate way. Explain to them that it’s not permanent but temporary. 

Do not force sharing

While it’s important to encourage sharing, children should not be forced to share items that are especially important to them.

There are some items that are very precious to your child, and they might not be ready to give up. If you force your child to share something he is not ready to give up. Although it might look like mere toys to us, it might be a valuable and prized possession for the child. We should respect the child’s choice in this case and continue model sharing. If you force your child, it might have the opposite effect, they may become resentful instead of generous.

Do not punish

Although it can be embarrassing to see your child showing tantrums when asked to share, please do not criticize them, force them or punish them for their behaviour.

Encourage sharing through play:

Use toys, games, and other activities to help children practice sharing and learn the importance of taking turns.

Make it a habit:

Incorporate sharing into your daily routine and make it a habit for your child to share things with others. Little Pearls is the perfect place for children to develop the ability to control their emotions and become self-aware. They interact with children from various backgrounds and develop skills like self-regulation and empathy. They learn to be calm and patient with their peers and learn to resolve conflict on their own. Once children develop the skills like empathy, self-regulation, and conflict regulation, they do not hesitate to share with others.

We always highlight the importance of sharing and ensure that our Little Pearlites learn about sharing through lessons as well as play.

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