Teaching Your Children to Share
Submitted on behalf of Primrose Schools: Preschools the bring out the best in your preschooler by Emily Patterson
Cooperation involves sharing toys, ideas, time, and space. Young children epitomize the opposite of cooperation. With jealousy, they bite, kick, and hit to defend their personal items and space. Parents and caregivers wisely train their children from a young age to share and cooperate. Equipped with these basic life skills, children earn opportunities to participate in life experiences and receive social rewards.
Cooperative children make and keep friends. Not only do they share toys, but they also share kindness, courage, and support. Cooperative children also demonstrate friendliness and play successfully in groups. Navigating relationships remains a challenging task for any child or adult. Children who learn to share receive social benefits and bring pleasure to others.
On the playground and on the ball court, children must exercise cooperation. Cooperative children receive opportunities for advancement and leadership training. Equip your child for the future by teaching them to share.
Encourage young children to share their toys with you during playtime. Ask for a turn to play with the toy in their hand, and demonstrate how you handle it gently and return it quickly. Do not force them to give you a turn, especially if they are holding their favorite toy. Patiently encourage them to share food, crayons, a ball, or bath toys.
Children must also learn to share people. A child can become distraught when their parents want to go away without the child or even hold hands together. Include your child as much as possible with daily life, but reserve special time for you as parents to nurture your relationship. Start out with a reliable caregiver and a 30-minute date. Gradually increase the length of time you are gone. Your child will learn that you will return which enables him to share his parents with each other.
Turn your child’s interests into teachable moments. While playing with bubbles, dolls, or trains, teach cooperation. Take turns playing with the bubble wand, share the dollhouse, and work together to carry cargo along the track. Explain the cooperative nature of music as you take turns playing instruments. Take turns picking the bedtime story or turning pages of books.
Work together as a family. Allow your children to help fold laundry, cook dinner, pick up toys, and walk the family dog. Encourage their requests to help by allowing their cooperation even though the task will take longer.
Look for opportunities to share in your community. Hold the door for the person behind you on the way into the library, and drive the car with consideration. Respect other people and their property. As they interact with the world around them, your children will understand the importance of sharing with strangers and see examples of good citizenship.
Your children learn to share by cooperating with caregivers. Model cooperative behaviors; and use moments each day to teach the importance of taking turns, sharing toys, and working together to complete tasks. Your investment into your children’s character influences their future. Teach them how to share, and reward them with life skills necessary for success.
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