Teaching Your Child To Share

Posted by Ruby Gray on January 27, 2015

Gimmee! Dat's Mine! Words that every parent has heard at one time or another. As a matter of fact, "mine" is one of the first words a child learns.

The attachment to people and possessions is a perfectly normal and healthy trait. We as parents are charged with the task of teaching the importance of sharing.

To learn this lesson, children must be able to empathize with others. To see things from another person's point of view is hard for a child under the age of 6. With guidance it is possible to teach a selfish 2 year old to become more generous, but don't expect miracles. 

Don't force your child to share their most treasured possession. Allow them to have something that is just theirs and share those not quite as important to them. It may just be a toy to you, but to them it is their best friend, constant companion and comfort. You wouldn't want to be forced to share your new car would you?

Teaching by example is always a good way to go. Make a show of sharing you're cookies with the family. You're going for the 'monkey see, monkey do' thing here. Make it into a game to see who can share the most. Children easily remember things they have learned in play. Always praise them when they do share.

When a problem arises don't immediately rush in to grab the toy, this only shows you don't know how to share either. Instead, hang back a few moments and see if the children resolve it themselves. If it does get out of hand and kicking and biting is involved, step in and calm the situation. Then encourage sharing. You can set a timer and let each child have the coveted toy until the timer goes off and have them hand off the toy to the next person to share.

You're child will soon learn that if they are willing to share then they will have more playmates. No one wants to play with someone who always grabs their toys.