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Teaching Your Children To Share

sharing-toysSharing is one of the main reasons why children fight.  It is a reason why adults fight as well, but the difference is children don’t understand what sharing is.  The children have to know the concept of ‘mine’ and ‘yours’ and understand fairness.  Parents must find the balance in sharing and teach it to them for children to grow.

Children don’t have the mental capacity to share with others until they reach three years of age.  They understand fairness but it is not a 50/50 kind of fairness that adults know about.  They feel that fairness is about having the majority and let the other party share one or two items–a 90/10 fairness.  Parents usually jump in when they see it and force a 50/50 between the children; this makes the child with the majority feel bad and may grow resentment toward the other.  Instead use the phrase ‘taking turns.’  Tell that child that sharing is about playing with the toys and letting the other child play with it when you’re done.  Another way to explain it is to show sharing situations with the child or lead by example. Visuals help them to comprehend sharing better than telling them.  Give them positive reinforcement when they are successful and be patient.

Without that balance kids will grow up to be selfish and not share with others.  They will have a hard time making friends; if the child makes a friend he or she will have a hard time keeping them.

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