How to Encourage Sharing In Your ToddlerV8media-Admin
We human beings are naturally tailored to be cooperative. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of us take sharing easily – especially toddlers.
Your little one’s playroom is filled to the brim with all kinds of children’s toys. Yet, whenever a friend visits, your child seems to want the toy that their friend is playing with – leading to fun and laughter being replaced by tears and tantrums.
In this article, we’re going to discuss toddlers and sharing – diving into the basic concept of it all, and even provide you with some tips to implement it in excellent practice.
Let’s get started!
Although sharing is an essential social skill to acquire, teaching sharing to toddlers can be somewhat daunting. This is because toddlers are in an egocentric phase of development. In basic terms, this means that they are entirely used to being the center of your world.
Sharing and Toddlers
Despite the fact that all stages of your parenting journey are beautiful, this stage, in particular, comes with its hardships. This is because sharing is a learned behaviour. You need to give your little one time to even grasp the concept, never mind putting it into practice every day.
We know that it can be frustrating, or even embarrassing when your toddler refuses to share their children’s toys. However, when encouraging sharing, it’s essential to keep in mind that this is a concept far beyond the grasp of most toddlers – it’s not even entirely in their ability to do so below the age of around 3 or 4 years old. By motivating and setting stellar examples, you can help your little one share their children’s toys with others, ever-so-naturally.
Now that we understand the basic concept, we can dive into how to encourage sharing in toddlers.
Tips to Help In Teaching Sharing to Toddlers
As soon as your child hits the age of 5, you can start to set higher expectations. At this stage in their life, children start becoming more capable of establishing a different point of view. This means that you’re able to make your child feel for others. For instance, you can ask them how they would feel if their friends hogged all the toys and didn’t want to share them. While this has absolutely no meaning to a three-year-old, those older will definitely take on a different perspective.
Until that age, however, it won’t hurt to take the first step into teaching sharing to toddlers. After all, everyone has to start somewhere, right?
Start Young – Teach Sharing to Toddlers
Starting young can have a significant impact on your child’s development. From the moment your little one is able to grasp an object, you can begin to teach sharing by passing your child’s toy back and forth. The first step in encouraging sharing is learning how to take turns.
Become a stellar role model. Instil the practice of sharing things with your child, and try to make it as fun as you possibly can. Share an ice cream cone, share a couch for a cuddle, share the TV as you watch a fun movie together – all of this will set an example.
When a young child feels threatened, they tend to respond in an aggressive manner. For instance, when a friend tries to steal their toy. They’ll begin hitting, throwing, grabbing, and maybe even shouting. While this kind of behaviour is perfectly normal, it’s crucial for you to jump in and calm the situation down. Use a low voice, and tell your child that this isn’t the right way to act. We know that this situation may be frustrating, but try your best to always instil a calm authority.
Play Cooperative Games
Try to choose games that don’t include a single winner. Instil the idea of working together as a team to accomplish a goal. Of course, while competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s not entirely appropriate for those younger than three years old.
Set a Timer
Grab your phone and set a timer of five minutes. When it rings, your child will know that it’s their turn to give the toy to their friend. Once the timer rings again, the children’s toy will be passed back, and so on. In this, your little one learns that giving something away doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s gone forever.
Use Descriptive Praise
When you see your child sharing, praise them to your heart’s content – but try to stay away from vague phrases. Saying things like ”You’re so good!” are great, but it doesn’t encourage your child to see things from a different perspective. Instead of this, you can say something like ”Did you see the smile on your friend’s face when you gave him your toy? He loved that, didn’t he?” Ultimately, this draws attention to what your child did, and will encourage them to do it more often.