Sharing is an important process of growing up that we
continue to learn and fine-tune, even in our adult years! As humans we are
naturally possessive and protective of our things. However, over time we learn
the pleasure of giving. Children have difficulty sharing, especially young
Sounds simple, but sometimes we forget that our children learn best from the model we provide. When you are sharing, be sure to explain to your child what you are doing and why; otherwise, he may be unaware of what is happening.
Don’t force a child to share
Instead, create attitudes and an environment that encourage your child to want to share. There is power in possession. To you, they’re only toys. To a child, they’re a valuable, prized collection that has taken years to assemble. Respect the normal possessiveness of children while you encourage and model sharing. In the preschool years your child naturally goes through a “what’s in it for me” stage, which will progress into a more socially aware “what’s in it for us” stage. Gradually — with a little help from parents — children learn that life runs more smoothly if they share.
When your child shares a toy with a sibling or friend, commend him for it, but be specific in your choice of words. Too often we use the word "nice" to describe an action of sharing. But "nice" is a hard word to define and is even harder for your young child to understand. Instead of saying, "Thank you for being nice to your friend," you can say, "Thank you for sharing your ball with Matthew. You made him happy."
Play “Share Daddy.” Placing the two-year-old on one knee and the four-year-old on the other teaches both children to share their special person. Even a two-year-old can play “Share Your Wealth.” Give your two-year-old some flowers, crackers, blocks, or toys, and ask her to share them with everyone in the room: “Give one to big brother. Give one to Daddy.” You want to convey the message that sharing is a normal way of life and sharing spreads joy.
Give your child opportunities to share
To encourage sharing, Teacher gave four-year-old Raju a whole cookie
with the request, “Please give some of the cookie to Ramu.” He broke off a
piece and gave it to her. It was good practice for Raju and, from his modelling,
two-year-old Ramu learned about sharing.