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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 September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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