When should you expect to see them sharing?
Sharing requires a certain level of empathy. Children can’t develop true empathy until the age of 6, before then they only share because they’re conditioned – which can be tough to implement. Before the age of 2, children are used to playing alongside each other and not with each other. As you start to teach them sharing, your unaware 2-year-old will fast become a generous 3-year-old as they start to see the value of sharing.
Don’t force them, encourage them to make their own decisions
It’s normal for a child to have powerful feelings of possessiveness over a toy or other valuables. Instead of making a decision for them, respect their feelings of possessiveness and encourage empathic attitudes. Sit back and observe them in a group play setting – you’ll be able to learn a lot about where they are at and what kind of guidance they’ll need. Make sure you only step in if your child is getting grabby or aggressive.
Monkey see, monkey do
You and your partner are the biggest role models in your child’s life. If you’re given the opportunity to share and your little one is present, make it a teachable moment and obvious to them what you’re doing. For example, when someone wants a sip of your drink do as follows, “mummy is sharing her drink with a friend, isn’t that nice?” To emphasise the act of sharing.
Respect your child’s attachment to a possession
To a child, their possessions are precious and taking them away can be traumatic. If your kid has a friend coming over, this is good opportunity to ease them into sharing. Before they come over, let your little one pick a couple of special toys they won’t need to share and the rest is fair game. You may have to play referee at certain stages, but at least you’re respecting your child’s natural feelings.
Is your little one already enrolled in a Wyong child care centre? Let us know in the comments below.