Learning to share is an important life skill for every child. It’s not in a toddler’s nature to share, but it can be learnt through teaching and practice.
Here are some simple ways to show your tot how to share:
1. Start early
Start practising taking turns with your little one’s favourite toy or rattle right from babyhood. Give her the rattle to shake, then take it, shake it yourself and give it back to her. This will teach your child that she can still share and have fun. Continue this practice with her when she’s a toddler, but ask her if you can have a turn with her toy and remember to give lots of praise when she shares with you.
2. Set an example
You can’t expect your child to share her favourite toys with you if you’re not willing to share your own things. Obviously some things are unsafe or precious, but let her play with your keys, drink from your cup or try on your shoes.
3. Make family time share time
While your little one plays with her dolls, ask her if mom and dad can play too. If she refuses, move away for a little bit and try again later. This will teach her that sharing leads to more engagement and fun play.
4. Be prepared
If your tot refuses to share her favourite toys with you, chances are very slim that she’ll be willing to share them with other kids. Put all your tot’s favourite toys away when friends come over for a playdate and have a box of toys that everyone can play with. Remind your child that it’s nice to play and share with others. If she refuses to share even that box of toys, let her know that all the toys will be taken away if she doesn’t share. This will teach her that selfishness allows no fulfilment.
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