“Don’t touch, this is MINE!!” - tired of hearing this phrase from your toddler everytime another kid comes over to play? Is your little one too possessive about her toys? Don’t worry mommies, it is quite normal for a child to behave this way.
It is not easy for a child to understand the concept of sharing until someone explains it to them and help them practice. Moreover, the idea of sharing doesn’t interest children as they are not directly benefited by it. But nevertheless, it is important for every child to learn how to share their things with others and develop a genuine interest in sharing. Here are 5 tips that will help you to teach your child about sharing:
1. The younger, the better:
It is easier to shape the iron when it is hot. Likewise, it is easier to teach your children when they are very young. Learning to pass a thing to others is the first step towards learning to share. Make a fun game and teach baby to pass things back and forth to you. Keep practicing and express your happiness whenever they pass something to you to encourage them.
2. Be the example - the role model:
Children learn the best by seeing others, especially their parents. Be the role model for your kids and share your own things with them or others. Ask them for their permission before taking anything from them, like “Will you please share your ice-cream with me?” or share something that belongs to you with others in front of them. They will notice your behaviour and start to mimic you after a few times.
3. Give them the opportunity to share:
Whenever you can, create an opportunity for your kid to share things with others. Be it in a family gathering or during her playtime with the other kids in your block, ask her to share a pack of chips or sweets with everyone. Encourage her to share her toys with the other kids and ask for permission before playing with others’ toys. Acknowledge when she shares something with others and help her notice how her gestures made the other person or kid happy.
4. Never force them to share:
Everyone gets attached to the things that they possess on different levels. With some of these possessions, they develop a special bond and get biased towards these possessions. You kid will also develop a special bond with some of her toys and would love these toys over any other. Do not force your little one to share her toys too much if they consistently refuse to share.
5. Let them take turns:
To teach your kids how to share you can make up a game with a buzzer or timer. During their playtime, set the buzzer on for 5-10mins. The game is that they can play with one toy until the buzzer rings. But everytime the buzzer rings, they will have to pass on the toy they were playing with to the next person. Also, encourage them to ask before taking someone else’s toy with a question like “Can I play with your toy for a while once you’re done playing with it?” It helps them feel valued and learn how to value others’ opinions.