Whether with siblings or friends, it can sometimes be a huge challenge to teach your child how to share. Every toy in the room can suddenly be the catalyst for a battle and it can be a hard concept for children to understand how, and why, they should share. But with time and consistency you should be able to help your child learn this very important life lesson.
Be a role model
In all stages of life, children learn by example. And their best role model is you! Make sharing a regular part of your every day life and encourage this at every opportunity – this could be something as simple as sharing some food with them and asking them to do the same with you. Remember to praise them when they do share something with you.
If you know you’re going to be in a position where your child needs to share, such as a play date, make sure you prep beforehand. If your little one has toys or other items you know they absolutely cannot bear to let someone else play with, then put them away.
Let them learn
If you see your child take a toy or other item away from another child or sibling, give them a chance to see how they handle it before you intervene. Sometimes you may find they just continue to play without any fuss or solve the problem themselves.
When your child is good and shares, it’s really important to praise them and tell them how nicely they are sharing and that you’re proud of them. This will help to remind them that it’s good to play nicely and share with others.
Intervene when you need to
Sometimes you may have to intervene and explain why their behaviour may be upsetting another child. Explain to them why it’s not nice or how the other child might feel. Then guide them to solve the problem or find another activity.