As difficult as it might seem at first, you need to help your toddler learn to share. At that age, it is a very ‘me’ mind-set, and sharing seems pointless! But in order to help them make friends and enjoy healthy social relationships, they need to learn. To help, we have listed the best ways to teach your toddler to share!
Sharing helps to teach your child about fairness and compromise. It shows that if you give a little to others, you get a little in return as well. Children who learn how to share will also figure out skills such as negotiating and taking turns, as well as dealing with disappointment.
How To Teach Your Toddler To Share
The best way to teach your toddler how to share is to model good behaviour. You should model good sharing and practice turn-taking, giving your children the best example to follow.
You should also give your children the opportunities they need to learn and to practice sharing. These are the best ways to teach your toddler to share:
- Give your toddler lots of praise when they share or take turns. Pay attention to them when they share, and give them positive affirmations to encourage them to do it again.
- Make sure to point out good behaviour in other children. If one of their friend’s shares, let them know by saying something like “look how kind your friend is being by sharing her toys with her friends”.
- Play games with your toddler that involve sharing and taking turns. Talk them through the game and explain when it is your turn, and that they have to wait for theirs. Show them that even though they are sharing some toys with you, you will share toys with them as well.
- Sit your toddler down and chat with her about sharing before having playdates. Explain to her that she does need to share and that it might help her friend share with her as well. Explain this to her in a way that she might understand – such as “remember to let Harry play with some of your toys when he comes over to play later today”.
Sharing Their Special Toys
While it is so important to teach your toddler to share, it is still okay for them to have a few special toys that they keep for themselves.
These toys might be sentimental items or just their favourite things to play with. They might be worried to share these in case their friends break it, or they are possessive of them. This is fine. They are allowed to have some special items to keep to themselves, as long as they know to share their other toys.
When friends come over to play, or when your toddler goes out for a play date, rather pack these toys away to avoid any hurt feelings and confusion.
Sharing Isn’t So Easy When You Are Two!
Sharing is a challenge for toddlers. It is not what they want to do at this age, and it is something that will take some effort to learn.
Be patient with them and gently explain to them why they need to share. After a time it will become natural for them!