Part of the normal development process for young children is that at some point they will have difficulty sharing. At 2 and 3 years old as the little ones establish a sense of awareness and identity, it’s not unusual to hear them scream out words like “mine”. At this age, they develop an attachment to things and people.
Since this possessiveness is part of the child’s development, don’t expect a 2 or 3 year old to share so willingly unless you instruct them to. Until they are about 6 years old, children aren’t capable of feeling true empathy, which allows them to see things from the other person’s perspective and truly share. However, if you guide them and as they interact with other kids, your 3 year old can begin to grasp the value of sharing and become a very generous kid.
Below are some steps to teach your child how to share.
- Attachment parenting contributes to a child’s self worth; resulting in children that needless to validate them and have few attachment objects. Such children are more likely to share.
Attachment parenting is important because it helps raise a child that’s more sensitive to other people’s needs. It also gives you the chance to know your child well enough to understand his cues and know when he’s ready to share.
- A key point to remember is that even when he is more open to sharing, your child may still be selective in what he shares and with whom. Just like you may not want to share that priced gift you received, the child might not want to share that toy he values so much. Respect his right to his possessions. Besides, kids know the other kids they play with so your child may know that a certain kid will destroy his treasured toy if he shares it with them.
- While you teach them to share, don’t force it on them. You may not understand it, but those toys may be very valuable to the child. Respect that and instead create an environment that will encourage the child to share then watch as he plays with the other kids. Gradually, he will learn to share.
- Model generosity. When your kids see you sharing your possessions with other and when you share things such as your food and space with them, they learn to share too. If you have more than one kid, try to fairly divide your attention and time to each one of them.
- Play games that involve sharing with your child so that he grows up knowing sharing is the norm in life. Create opportunities that encourage this virtue. For instance, give the child some snack and ask him to divide it and share with the rest of the kids also in the infant care.
- Observe children as they play and know when to step in. If they seem to be resolving their differences on their own, don’t get involved. If they can’t come to an understanding on who gets the toy or for how long step in and show them how to share