Sharing doesn’t come easily to kids, and can be very challenging for younger children. Here, Growing Early Minds shares their top tips to help support children to share and take turns.
Why is sharing so hard?
For children, sharing can be difficult because they have to:
- Understand how their friend feels
- Understand why their friend would enjoy having a turn
- Give up something they like
- Wait for their turn
When we look at it like this, it’s easy to see why many children find it challenging to share.
How to encourage children to share:
This is a common question parents and carers ask, especially when they see the negative consequences of children not sharing, such as isolation and inappropriate behaviour. We recommend:
- Children learn so much from modelling our behaviour. If they witness you being generous, it makes it easier for them to show these same qualities.
- Use words like “share” to describe what you’re doing and let your children see you compromise too.
- Explain the concept of sharing and that it doesn’t mean giving the object up.
- Where one child takes a toy off another child, offer similar objects and suggest they swap in a short period of time. Use a timer as a tool so they can see when their turn is getting close.
- While children are waiting for their turn, try to keep them engaged so they don’t get bored and frustrated.
- Teach children co-operative games where everyone needs to work together towards a common goal, such a puzzle where everyone takes turns to add a piece.
- If a child doesn’t share a prized possession, don’t punish them as this can lead to resentment and not generosity. Instead, wait for opportunities for positive reinforcement to encourage sharing.
Read the original article at Growing Early Minds.
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