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How to teach your child to share

26 Feb 2019

How to teach your child to share

That’s mine! Teaching your toddler or pre-schooler to share can be tricky. Here are our tips on nurturing a little one who values sharing and understands turn-taking.

Acknowledge their feelings

Your child may be genuinely worried they will never get a turn or will never get their toy back. Help your child recognise their feelings by asking questions, for example – “are you scared you will not get your paw patrol toy back?” Children recognise emotions in others once the understand what they are feeling.

Share with your child

Include your child with fun activities that involve sharing. Play with blocks and take turns placing them on top of one another. Tell your child things like “now it’s your turn.” Get a mandarin or orange and ask them if they’d like to share. As you divide the fruit evenly and start eating, keep reinforcing the message “we are sharing.”

Praise

When they do a good job of sharing make sure you tell them. Positive statements like “you play so nicely with Benjamin” or “look how happy Suzie is, she loves playing with you’’ work well. You can also try, “your friend was so nice to let you play with her toys.”

Role model generosity

It starts with you. Ask your child if she’d like to share the couch or blanket with you. When your partner asks for some of your chips and little ears are listening, let them have a handful. If there is only one cracker left, break it in half and share it with someone.

Start early

Taking turns is the first stage of generosity. You can introduce your child to the concept of turn-taking by simply saying things like ‘’mummy’s turn’’ and “your turn” as soon as possible. It also makes a lot more sense than the more traditional “taaaa!”

Preparation

If you are worried about a play-date with another child, make sure you give your little one plenty of warning. Say things like “When Payton comes over, you’ll need to share some toys, which ones would you like to share?’’