How to Teach Your Child to Share
What to expect at this age
“I won’t lend it to you!” shouts your son, aged 3 to 5, to his little friend while taking away a toy. As soon as you reassure them, they fight again. “No!” he cries again when his guest tries to touch his collection of stones. Why doesn’t your son know how to share?
Well, you do know, but it’s not constant.
You may spend several hours a day playing with other children and know how to wait your turn when playing; you may even be less focused on yourself than you did a year or two ago.
But he is still impulsive and does not understand the concept of time well, so wait while his little friend takes his turn, playing with one of his favorite toys, can be a challenge.
On the other hand, many pre-school children love to make drawings for their teachers, make gifts for mom and dad, and share a snack with the little friends.
At this age, children are learning that it is nice to give away and that it is fun to share with friends, so you can teach them to share, encouraging being generous and dissuading it with the sweetness of less altruistic behaviors and impulses.
What to do
Make sharing fun
Teach team games where several players work together to achieve a common goal. Do puzzles with it, taking turns to add pieces, for example. Share projects: plant aromatic herbs in pots, paint a door or wash the car with it. And finally, give him things to share with his friends once in a while, like a special snack or stickers.
Do not punish their resistance to sharing
If you tell your child that he is selfish, disciplined when he does not share or force him to share a favorite toy, you will have resentment, not generosity. To encourage generosity, use positive reinforcement instead of punishment and keep in mind that it is okay for your child not to share certain things.
As you grow up, you’ll learn that sharing with your friends, which will become more and more important to you, is more fun than keeping everything for yourself.
Talk to him
When children fight for a toy, help to find out what happens. If a friend does not lend something, explain to your child how his or her buddy can feel. For example, “Peter likes that toy, and for now, he doesn’t want anyone else to play with him.” Help him express his feelings as well.
When he’s not generous, ask him what’s wrong. You may find that in your school there are not many trains to share or that you have a special attachment to your teddy bear because Grandpa gave it to you.
Teach him how to solve problems
If your kid doesn’t let go of the toy his little friend wants, he’s probably thinking, “him or me.” Surely, the concept of sharing the toy has not even occurred to him. Encourage to take turns with the toy (try using an alarm clock to mark each child’s turn).
Explain that sharing is not the same as giving and tell you that if you share your toys with your friends, they will be more likely to share theirs with you.
Let him in advance
Before it’s time to play, ask your child if there is something he prefers not to share and saves those unique toys. Then ask him what things he would like to play with his guests, such as modeling clay, drawing material, building blocks and sports games.
That will help you mentally prepare for the time to share when your guest arrives. Ask your friend to bring a toy or two as well, as your child may be more generous if he is not the only one who has to share his things.
Respect your child’s things
If your child feels that his clothes, books, and toys are not well treated, he unlikely lends them to others. Ask permission before borrowing your crayons and give them the option to say no.
Make sure your siblings, friends and even the babysitter also respect your things, asking if they can use them and take care of them when they borrow them.
Preach with the example
The best way for your child to learn to be generous is to witness generosity. Share your ice cream with him. Offer your scarf to play with it as if it were the cloak of a superhero and asked if you can prove your new cap.
Use the word share to describe what you are doing and don’t forget to teach those intangible things (such as feelings, ideas, and stories) can also be shared and most importantly, let him see you give and take, come to agreements and share with others.