Learning to Share

Hand holding a stone heart on the beach. Symbol of life.

Sharing is very hard. Even as an adult. There are sometimes its hard to share, like sharing a dessert with my husband. ūüôā ¬†We need to help teach our children how to share at a young age so your child isn’t the one throwing tantrum when they are forced to share at daycare or at a friends or even with a sibling.

Learning how to share is a big challenge for all children because¬†it often means putting aside one‚Äôs own needs in order to make¬†someone else happy. Sharing is not a skill children have when¬†they are born‚ÄĒthey need to be taught how to share and how¬†to see that their efforts have helped someone else feel happy or¬†solve a problem. In order to learn this skill, children need adults¬†to provide them with many different opportunities where they can practice how to share¬†with others and see other children in the act of sharing. When a child learns how to¬†share with others she feels more confident and is better able to play with other children¬†independently. Additionally, learning how to share gives a child a very important and solid¬†foundation of successful friendship skills she can continue to build on as she grows.

  • Read books about sharing with your child.¬†Talk about how the characters might¬†feel as the story unfolds. All feelings are¬†healthy and normal. A character might¬†be feeling a variety of emotions‚ÄĒfrom¬†frustrated and sad to happy and joyful. A¬†good example is the CSEFEL Book Nook¬†based upon the book I Can Share by Karen¬†Katz. This resource has many activities¬†that go along with the book to teach¬†about sharing.
  • ¬Ą¬ĄNotice and point out when otherchildren are sharing. ‚ÄúI see that those¬†girls are sharing their snack.‚Ä̬†¬Ą¬ĄNotice and let your child know that you¬†see the many moments in the day when¬†he is sharing. ‚ÄúThank you for sharing¬†your crayons with me. I feel happy when¬†you share.‚ÄĚ Or ‚ÄúWhen I came to pick you¬†up from school, I noticed that you were¬†sharing the toys with Sophie. What a¬†good friend.”
  • Plan ahead if sharing might be a¬†concern. ‚ÄúAvery is coming over to our¬†house today for a play date. I know how¬†special your blankie is to you. We can¬†put your blankie in a special place that isjust for you and all the other toys will be¬†shared with Avery.‚ÄĚ

The Bottom Line
Sharing is a skill that your child will use throughout her life to get along with others during activities and build friendships. Children who learn how to share are better able to understand other’s feelings, negotiate difficult situations with confidence and feel secure in their ability to solve problems by themselves.

This information came from Backpack Connection Series

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