Teaching Your Children to Share

I still remember when I spoke to my children about this; it became a fun game for them, and they wouldn’t stop sharing the food from their dinner plates with everyone, down to the cat and the dog. At first, I was a bit worried as less was going inside their bellies and more was going in the animals’ bowls. But, instead of discouraging them, I started adding more to their plate so that even when they finished sharing, they still had something left on their plates.

Sharing with others is one of those practices kids need to learn at an early age because it teaches them humility. It also breeds in them the ability to love others and to treat them with respect and love.

Don’t force: Instead of forcing or commanding them to share, always use subtle hints, like taking turns. Instead of saying, “Let your younger brother play with your toys”, use sentences like, “Would it be okay for your brother to take a turn after you are done?” The latter is more likely to result in a yes.

Respect their wishes: Every kid is possessive about that one toy they love more than anything. If you ensure that, before inviting other children to your home to play with your kid, you put that toy away, you will help build trust, and they will be more willing to share later. Always ask their permission before letting others use their toys, and they will feel more valued and respected.

Teach by example: Kids are the perfect impressionists. They do what they see others doing, especially the ones they spend most of their time around. They learn how to talk, walk and eat like them. The point being; in their growing ages, they are like an empty vessel. All the good and bad you put in them will always remain in their minds forever; if they see you sharing your stuff with others, sooner or later, they will pick up the habit too.

Praise good behavior: When you do see them impersonating your good behavior, don’t forget to reward them. When kids feel appreciated, they are more likely to repeat the behavior again.

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