Toddler and pre-school years are a great time to start letting your child socialize with other kids. However, because being with other children is something new, your child may not yet understand the concept of sharing. That’s why, at this age, seeing your child refuse to share toys with other kids is a common scenario. “This is mine!” is what toddlers and preschoolers often say to keep other children away from their precious toys.
While having a seemingly selfish kid may seem alarming for any parent, find comfort in knowing that refusal to share is completely normal for little ones. They want to protect what they have, and they have no sense of time. Whenever you ask them to share, they fear that something will be taken away from them. They don’t understand that sharing means their toys or books will be returned to them. As you wait until your toddler or pre-schooler can already understand the sharing concept, it will be best to use fun ways to teach your pre-schooler that sharing is really caring gradually.
Expose Your Child to Social Situations
Taking your child to playgrounds, parks, museums, and other places where they have a chance to share the space or their toys is a good opportunity for them to learn about sharing. However, bringing kids outside is not possible nowadays. For now, you can just let them interact with siblings, or you can look for online playgroups or virtual play schools where your child can have the chance to meet other kids online. Once your child gets used to having other children as a company, he will gradually develop the desire to share.
Play Games Where You Take Turns
Games like ball toss and board games are great ways to teach your kid about the concept of taking turns and sharing. You can even reinforce the idea by saying “your turn” or “my turn.”
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Choose educational apps that encourage sharing.
With your supervision, you can also let your child learn the concept of sharing through fun mobile educational apps like Mash&Co. Aiming to help improve children’s emotional development, Mash&Co is a fun activity that teaches a child the value of sharing, the value of friendship, recognition of the emotions, and respect for nature.
Read Books Together
Choose a bedtime book that teaches the value of sharing. You can spend time and bond with your toddler or pre-schooler while effectively teaching them to share.
Set an Example
The best way to teach your kids the value of sharing is by making it a part of their daily lives. You, as a parent, have to be the best model of how to share. Your children will soon follow your example.
Sharing is a vital trait for children to learn. Creatively teaching them why they need to share and positively reinforcing their good behavior will instill in them the values of sharing in no time.
As a parent, you should be the first example they see, and when they get in challenging situations, take a step back and see how your child reacts. You’ll soon see how much they’ve learned from your creative parenting skills.
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Gwen Llana-Serrano is a millennial mom who works from home. She owns a content writing start-up and writes about her experience as a mom for the first time on her parenting and lifestyle blog. He also writes articles for The Asian Parent, the largest parenting website in Southeast Asia.