7 Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Share: Simple Parenting Hacks You Need to Know
There will come a point in your toddler’s life where they won’t appreciate it when they lend their toys to other kids. When they start screaming every time you, or another child begins playing with their toys, it’s normal that as parents, you may feel frustrated. The good thing is, sharing is a characteristic that you can teach your youngsters.
You have to be reminded though, that it usually takes time, and a lot of patience. Listed below are 7 ways on how you can teach your toddler to enjoy sharing their toys with others.
Start as Early as Possible
There’s no better way to start teaching your child but today. For instance, you can introduce a toy to your child, give it then take it away for a while, then give it back. This will teach your child that you can both have fun while sharing the same toy.
Continue doing this and don’t forget to be verbal about. You can say something like, “Can Mommy borrow this?”, and make sure that you praise them when they share it with you like, “Thank you for sharing!”
Keep a positive environment and don’t get mad when they don’t want to do this the first time.
Be a Role Model
The best way of building the concept of sharing is to be a role model. Your child will follow you as an example, and it’s best that you also show them that you share your belongings with others. Share food with your spouse for instance – let your child see so they’ll have a better understanding that sharing is perfectly okay.
Let Your Child Understand That Sharing Doesn’t Mean They Have to Give Up Their Toys
One of the reasons why toddlers don’t want to share is that they fear their things won’t be returned. But, by using positive reinforcement, you can let them understand that they’ll have it back. By letting them know that they’ll get their toy back after sharing it with other kids, they’ll slowly become more comfortable with the concept of lending others their toys.
Use Positive Reinforcement
This is probably one of the most important steps that you have to remember. Whenever they start sharing their toys with others, regardless of what it is, make sure that you give them praises, kisses, or cuddles. Show them that what they did is right and that they deserve your praises.
Perform Role Play Sharing Exercises
Role play sharing exercises make a perfect way to teach your child to share. For instance, you can verbalize and share a blanket with your spouse while your child watches you. You can tell “Your Daddy is so sweet to share his blanket with me, I’ll share some of my things with him next time.” Once you’ve portrayed the role of the borrower, next time, be the lender and let your kid watch. You can then let your toddler join during these exercises.
Stop Labeling Things as ‘Mine.’
Don’t label things as “this is mine.” Instead of saying “This is mine,” when your toddler tries to take the car keys or your phone, for instance, you can say, “This is not a toy, and please don’t play with it. Why don’t we get your favorite stuffed animal instead?” When it is something that won’t harm them, such as your handkerchief, you can let them take it.
When you take a trip to the playground, remind and tell your toddler that you’ll be happy when they take turns and not pushing everyone away. Instead of grabbing the swing from another child, take turns, wait until they are finished and let them understand that when they wait, they’ll get what they want. This doesn’t just teach your child sharing, but fair play as well.
If you consider following these ways, you can instill the importance of sharing with your child. Bear in mind that it takes a lot of practice and time, and you may not get this right the first time. Just continue what you’re doing, and don’t be discouraged if your child doesn’t want to share right away. Encourage the behavior and avoid feeling frustrated, or angry even, and your child will soon start sharing.
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