As most parents of toddlers know, "mine" is one of the most popular words in their vocabulary. As loving and generous as you may be, it can be difficult to convince your little ones to follow suit. And can you blame them? Young children often don't understand that the things they share will come back to them, and as a result are hesitant to let go of their possessions. If your child's playdates are a constant power struggle, you may be wondering how to teach your kid to share.
As Dr. Sears pointed out on his site, a child's attachment to people and things are a normal part of their development. In fact, before age two, children have absolutelyno concept of sharing. As they learn, it can still be difficult for them to totally embrace the idea of sharing. It's up to parents to teach children about empathy and encourage sharing with friends and siblings. Setting a timer to signal time to share, giving gentle praise for good behavior, and reminding children of the sharing rules are ways you can reinforce the concept with your children. One of the best ways to teach young children about sharing is by setting a good example with your own behavior — sharing food and other items willingly in front of them.
If your child is reluctant to share, try some of these ideas to give them a gentle nudge. It won't happen overnight, and you will definitely have a few setbacks along the way. But with guidance and encouragement, you'll see some signs of hope in your little Scrooge in no time.