The phrase, “sharing is caring” gets thrown around a lot for new parents trying to teach their children how to share. Now, does that mean a kid who doesn’t like the idea of sharing is a kid who cares about nothing and will grow up to be selfish? Not necessarily. It probably means you have a young kid who’s going through a healthy set of developmental stages. So don’t sweat it too much.
While these stages are not always easy to work through, they are quite common. Young children learn how to be emotionally attached to things, then eventually become aware of their own identity, building their persona apart from their parents. All of this usually happens, by the way, before the age of six. And the thing is, only after going through those stages can kids really understand how to share!
Learning how to share is a very lengthy process; just because it doesn’t happen overnight doesn’t mean your child is ruined or that you have failed.
So concerned parents, be not afraid, there is still plenty of time to help your kids grow into healthy and sound individuals. Many parents have gone before you and have studied the most effective ways in teaching how to share, offering words of wisdom on raising children. Here are three parenting pointers for teaching kids how to share.
1. Let your sharing shine.
Learning begins with observation; kids have to see something first, to do it later. If mommy laughs when daddy plays with his food, expect the spaghetti to fly the next night. The same works with sharing. Whenever there is an opportunity to share something with your partner, make sure the child hears what’s going on and sees how happy both of you are after the exchange.
Keep in mind though, if you want your kid to learn how to share, you’ll have to share a lot of things too. Make sure both of you are prepared for that and plan how these “sharing moments” will go.
2. Watch carefully.
Problems will arise during group play-time, they are inevitable. As embarrassing as they can be (and scary, when worries of how they’ll grow up begin to creep in), they should be seen as fantastic opportunities to learn more about your child. The point is, look to see what kinds of influences might have taught your child how to behave in such ways.
3. Don’t force it.
To us, Mr. Booboo is just a teddy bear. To your child, he is a friend, valuable beyond measure. There are some things in life that are just too important to part with. The fear of loss (and understanding loss itself) is extremely important in a child’s development, but that doesn’t mean your kid has to learn it the hard way. The last thing you’d want to do is create resentment early on in life.
Understand the barriers and build from there. Be reasonable about what can be considered priceless and what you can separate from your child. This, too, will have a huge impact on your kid’s ability to prioritize. No two children are exactly alike; not even twins can be parented the same way!
These are a few tips to consider when teaching your children how to share, but it’s ultimately up to how you want to mold your child. Some methods will work better than others, so it’s really about being attentive and learning as you go.
Sharing at Prep Academy
At Prep Academy Schools, children are exposed to real social interactions in a productive environment, led by committed teachers who help each student realize their full potential in any situation. This allows children to learn how to share through enriching programs that value each student’s emotional and developmental needs.