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14 Tips On Teaching Your Child To Share

14 Tips On Teaching Your Child To Share

Sharing is one of those life lessons you need to teach your children as soon as possible. The younger they are when they learn, the easier it will be for them to adapt to this skill and use it throughout their life. Sharing will help them make friends on the playground and in school, as well as benefit them as they get older and go out on their own and get established in the workplace. Here are fourteen tips on teaching your child to share.

1. Give them the choice.

Forcing your child to share will just make it more difficult to get them to do it on their own later. If you give your child a choice, they will feel more involved in the situation, and they will feel like their feelings are being considered. Ask your child if he or she would mind sharing certain toys with a friend, or their snack with a sibling. If the child says no, explain why they should be willing to share. If they say yes, praise them for making a kind and considerate decision.

2. Know when to expect them to share.

Don’t always expect your child to be willing to share everything! Expect them to share toys they have lots of, like Legos or dolls when friends are over. Make sure they know what you expect of them, too! Be reasonable when it comes to new or favorite toys. Do you like sharing things you value? Of course not! It’s only natural to feel this way whether you’re an adult or a child!

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3. Teach them it’s not permanent/giving up belongings.

Make sure your child knows that sharing is temporary. Sharing is allowing a friend to borrow what is yours. It will only last during the play date, and then the toy will go back to belonging to only your child. Sharing goes much smoother if the child knows that they’re not permanently giving up anything that belongs to them.

4. Try different terminology.

If your child consistently throws a fit when asked to share anything with anyone, try using different terminology. Call it “borrowing” or “taking turns” instead of “sharing.” Explain that borrowing is temporary, or that taking turns means after your child’s friend plays with it, your child will have another chance for it. Sometimes an aversion to sharing can simply mean that your child doesn’t really understand the scope of the word’s meaning.

5. Use a clock or timer.

Using a timer when taking turns shows all children involved that you’re being fair. They will know how much time they have to play with a certain toy, and that once the timer buzzes, they have to switch with the next child. Instead of making the time limit seem like a restriction, make it into a game! For example, challenge each child to see how many things they can build with a toy before their time is up.

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6. Connect with your child.

Studies show that children who are closer to their parents are better at sharing. They feel like they get enough love and attention from their families, so they are less focused on inanimate objects, and understand that they should give just as much as they’re getting. Children secure in their place in the family are more likely to reach out and be generous to other children.

7. Let them have toys just for them, or put away toys before a play date.

Everyone has favorite toys, and if your child doesn’t want to share these, don’t force them! Before a play date, let your child pick out certain toys to hide away. These will not have to be shared, but make it clear that your child cannot play with these toys either—they’re put away until your child’s friends leave.

8. Take away toys if they’re not learning.

If your child still isn’t sharing after you’ve tried multiple positive ways, take away the toy in question. If your child can’t learn to share, then maybe they’re not ready to play with that toy, either.

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9. Tell them they must share to be shared with.

Many children expect to get things even if they’re not giving themselves. Make sure your child knows that his or her friends will be more likely to share their toys if your child shares with them. Explain that this means everyone will get to play with multiple new (to them) toys at each play date.

10. Explain why sharing is important.

Your child might be too young to understand, but try to explain why sharing is important in their life. Let them know how sharing helps them make and keep friends, how it makes them look like a kind and generous person that others will want to be nice to in return.

11. Show examples of sharing in everyday life.

When you’re out in public and see people being kind and sharing, make sure to point it out to your child. Along that same line, if you’re out with your spouse or other children and your youngest shares something, make an example of it. Point it out to who you’re with and comment on how sweet your child is being by sharing openly.

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12. Share more than just toys and food.

Demonstrate how more things are shared than just material goods like toys and food. You can loan out clothes, money (cautiously!), and time. While it may not be considered “sharing,” make sure your child knows how to love and show affection to more than just one family member, also. Don’t let them have periods of only hugging their father; make sure they know they can also love their mother and siblings at the same time, and that shared love keeps on giving.

13. Lead by example.

Monkey see, monkey do! Make sure your child sees you share bites of your dinner, let your spouse borrow your car, loan a friend a pair of shoes. Each time you share, point it out to your child. Make it a game, and ask them to show you when they share, also.

14. Praise them.

Every time your child shares, whether it is done willingly or because you asked them to, make sure to praise them. Don’t reward them with material things, as this will set a bad precedent for later in life. Verbal praise is perfect because it makes them feel special, but it is something they can continue to get as they grow older and are thanked for sharing by classmates and coworkers.

Featured photo credit: Jeff Blum via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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