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September 02, 2019

To share or not to share

Sharing can be a hard concept to understand at any age let alone toddlers. While we want them to share with others sometimes, it is okay to teach them that they don’t always have to share their things. I know that sounds weird because we WANT our children to share and have manners and respect, however, we all have “our own things” right? So what if we taught them to share but also have those specific items that they don’t HAVE to share. On top of that it can be a huge waste of time because they hear what they want and when they are little they think “Mine, Mine and Mine!”.



We can help them understand that our special things can stay in our room where we can play with them but the toys in daycare or maybe even in a larger room might need to be shared. Waiting around and taking turns is a lot to ask of a child, I mean I don’t even like to wait around so think about how hard it is for a super young kid.  So how can we prioritize what is important to share vs what can we just let be to make it easier on everyone?



Be a positive role model. Practice sharing at home. How do we expect them to go out into the real world and share if you aren’t displaying the same habits at home.  My older two are the same especially when it comes to video games. They are older and I swear that is all they care about. But just because they are older doesn’t mean that it is “easier” for them to share, they just know that they have to. We like to set timers for certain things and it seemed to have always helped even when they were toddlers. Then when the timer goes off they aren’t as “Shocked” and taken back that someone else gets a turn with the toy or whatever they are playing with.



Positive praise. Tell them how great of a job they did when they let someone else play with the toy or the book they were using. It is tough because we want them to find their own sense of independence and we don’t want them to feel bullied by another child into giving up the toy. So teaching them that giving someone else a turn is being a nice friend is a great thing to do and then they can show other kiddos that taking something isn’t nice and asking is kind. Then maybe “maybe” that behavior will pass along to other kiddos.



Start sharing young. This is hard, especially if you have only one child but when they are young just learning to walk and talk and interact show them a positive pattern in sharing. It is just like teaching manners and respect, you want to start young so it is a way of habit as they get older. Do the same as sharing. Again It is tough because we work so hard with our children at home to send them out and for other children who don’t have the same behavior to make an impact. But I genuinely feel that if we work hard enough with our children that when they are put into those situations they will know how to react and act in a positive manner.

Or at least we can only hope!



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