April Blog


Teaching Toddlers to Share

Children at the age of 2, are not yet capable of understanding the concept of sharing. It is only at the age of 4 that children are able to take on someone else’s point of view.
Parents often use “share” to describe different situations that actually bear little resemblance to sharing.
For example, asking your child to share a blanket, where he doesn’t have to take turns or give anything away, is very different from sharing a toy, which means taking turns, or sharing a cookie, where your child must give half of it away and doesn’t get that half back.
It’s important for parents to recognize the situation and adjust expectations accordingly.
Recognizing why you want your kids to share should also be considered.
Parents want their child share because of the embarrassment they may feel in front of other parents when their child doesn’t share.
That said, parents shouldn’t force the matter. “Getting angry at them shows kids that sharing is just about getting yelled at.” Instead, you could try one or more of the following:
1. Start young. From the time your child can grasp an object, you can teach sharing by passing the object back and forth while saying “my turn, your turn.”
2. Be a role model. Practise sharing with your child at home and make it fun.
3. Make believe. Co-operative games that don’t involve a single winner for children three years old and up.
4. Bring a pocket timer to playdates. When it rings, it’s your child’s turn to give a toy to her friend, then she gets it back once the timer rings again, and so on.
5. Finally, remember to use descriptive praise when your child does share.