Top 5 Tips to Encourage Your Children to Share With Others
23rd October 2014
When it comes to sharing, some children can be very stubborn. “No, that’s mine!” and “Get off!” are common phrases heard by screaming children when playing with their friends. For some kids, the art of sharing does come naturally, but for most, it is an attribute that needs to be learned and acquired gradually, with a little encouragement from Mum and Dad.
To help your children become generous and caring individuals, why not have a quick look through our top 5 tips, so next time, you don’t have to panic when your friends bring their kids round to play!
Be the perfect role model
Never underestimate the power of leading by example. Children are heavily influenced by their surroundings, including the people around them. Consequently, those who have received generosity are more likely to develop into generous people themselves.
For 3 and 4 year olds in particular, the best way for them to learn is to witness it first-hand. So share things, not only with your child, but also with your partner or friends and family. Make sure you do this very obviously and in front of your child. For instance, divide a chocolate bar and all take a piece each, or sit down and do a puzzle together. This will help them realise you are sharing because you are all friends/family who care about one another, plus it’s fun to share!
Be consistent with siblings
If you have more than one child then it is essential to treat them both the same. Show them both the possibilities of sharing and encourage them to share with one another. Let one play with the toy and then ask them to pass it on to the other so they can play with the toy next. It may prove hard at first but stay firm, remain consistent and they will eventually understand and begin to play along without putting up a fight.
Teach your child to share
Sharing is not something your child will instantly pick up and learn over night. It has to be introduced to them, practised to them and nourished. One way to do this is to invite a friend over to play and ask their parent to bring some of their own toys along with them. To a child, seeing a new toy is like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey, and they will no doubt naturally go for the new toy. However, they will soon realise that to play with their friend’s toy, they have to share their own.
It’s important to be realistic and not to expect too much too soon, and expectations should always be dependent on the age of your child. Over the age of three, you should choose physical games to share, such as bat and ball, or puzzles like Connect 4. Whereas with a two year old, you could have a bag of sweets and ask them to give one to Daddy, give one to Mummy, now give one to Grandma, so on and so forth, teaching them the art of sharing in a way that is easy to grasp.
Recognition and praise
When you see your child being generous and sharing, it’s always good to praise them for it. However, you should only do this for the first few times. If you continue to praise them after every single time, they will soon forget the real reason why they are sharing, and begin to do it simply to receive praises and compliments.
So, now we’ve shared some of our top tips with you, you can go ahead and begin your journey to encourage generosity and sharing in your child. Hopefully, over time they will come to realise that it is good to share, and that sharing means you will have more friends, so ultimately you will have more fun!
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