Sharing isn't easy!

I was recently reading a book to a group of preschoolers in which the animal characters were fighting over a toy. We talked about the problem these animals were having and I asked the kids if they thought sharing was difficult. They all enthusiastically agreed that sharing is really hard!

These children know from experience how challenging it is to share. When they play together there is often an argument over who can play with which toys. For example, Max had two cars - one in each hand and Tommy wanted one of the cars. Max quickly put both his hands behind his back refusing to give up either car.

I've found that in situations like this one of most effective responses is to describe the problem and then ask the kids how they are going to solve it. I explained "I see a problem. Max has two cars and Tommy would like to have a car too. How do you think you can solve this?"

Simply pointing out the issue typically causes the children to stop, look at me and start thinking about what's going on. Often these creative preschoolers come up with their own unique solutions. By leaving it in their hands, they are increasing their problem solving skills while also becoming more aware of the feelings of others.


Drunken Mystic said...

That's a good way of teaching them to think on their own, but early years of constant education of sharing even when they are 6 months old helps grooming of the child at times. I have noticed mothers while feeding their children just say, "One spoon of pudding for your father, one for your sister, and one for you." Immediately there is a bright smile on the baby's face. Although all children go through stages of not sharing, constant education of giving what you have certainly broadens their sub-conscious after a period of time. Thank you!

Kathy Slattengren said...

You raise an excellent point - children learn well from the example their parents set. When parents focus on sharing, the children will pick up on that value.

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