Monday, March 2, 2009

The skill of sharing

The ability to share with others isn’t a skill that comes naturally to most children. One mom and dad decided when their daughter was young that she didn’t need to share any toys that had been given specifically to her. This kept their daughter happy in the short term because she didn’t have to share any of her toys, not even with her younger sister. However, when their daughter started school, she struggled to make friends partly because she wasn’t very good at sharing.

While teaching children to share isn’t easy, it can help to discuss your expectations for sharing ahead of time. For example, before another child comes over to play you may want to talk to your child about sharing and allow your child to select one special toy that can be put away which does not need to be shared. When their friends come over to play, all other toys need to be shared.

Even after discussing sharing in advance, it is likely for young playmates to get in a fight over a toy. You can then help them figure out how they might be able to share the toy. You will be teaching them an essential friendship skill!
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