Helping Young Children Learn to Share
Toddlers don't often know how to share well, but it’s not from a lack of parenting. Young children don't have social skills, like empathy, to share successfully. But, with gentle guidance, sharing can go more smoothly.
- When you play with your child, model and verbalize how to share, like: “I'm sharing this toy with you, and you can share yours with me.”
- Comment positively when your child chooses to share.-
- Don't force your child to share. Even adults have items they don't want others to use. Before a friend comes over, put away special pieces that he or she may be reluctant to share. If your child is old enough, let them choose the items.
- Be ready with alternatives to minimize frustrations. Step in and offer your child another toy or activity instead.
When all else fails, be prepared to engage in play that requires minimal sharing, or none at all, like arts and crafts or playing games outside.