Toddler First Lesson – Sharing is Caring

Toddlers - Sharing is Caring

Sharing is Caring – Teaching our children to share is teaching them compassion and love.

Taking care of the well-being of your children — from feeding and clothing them, to providing them with education, house, and other necessities— are your responsibility as a parent. But they are just the bare essentials, and not the most important ones. To make sure that your children grow up to be polite, brave, kind and generous is the real struggle. As a parent, you are responsible for aiding them on their path to end up a better person.

When it comes to laying down rules, you verbalize them and tell them what to do and how to do it; but when it comes to teaching them life lessons, you teach them by being an example. Believe it or not, your children learn from you.

Want to see how you talk, how you walk, how you listen, and how you treat others? Your children will be your mirror.  So now that you know, your children are watching you and learning from you then why not teach them something special?

Let sharing be your child’s first lesson.

Most of the biggest causes of rivalry between siblings and other toddlers stem from toys and games. Instead of blaming these things for the real cause of dispute, why not use these very toys and play dates to teach them what it means to share? Some of the best ways to teach that ‘sharing is caring’ is through toys and playing:

One small step at a time

Never force your child to share something if she doesn’t want to and never snatch things out of their hands forcefully, or else, the next thing you know, they’ll be doing the same with you. Begin teaching through coaching. For instance, tell them to wait their turn when they are in the park and getting impatient for a chance to swing. If you bought them a toy from a shop, tell them right there that they had to share it with their siblings.

Let the timer decide

If they cannot decide who will get to play for how long, then set a timer. Setting a timer will not only teach discipline but will also teach them to pass the toy around when their time is up without throwing any kind of tantrum. Over time this habit will teach them patience and calmness.

Bring out the colors

One of the best techniques to teach your children to share is by taking out the bright and colorful art supply. When setting out the supplies make sure to provide only one bottle for each color and then divide the supplies among them. Sit with them and encourage them to pass their colors around to each other.

A children’s ballad

Since there are no famous ballads that preach about sharing, try to make one of your own. Sing it along with your children and teach them the meaning. Poems and songs have the tendency to get stuck in mind so whenever you catch your children fighting over something, begin humming the song and the message will get across.

Toddlers - Sharing is Caring

Eat and share

Teaching sharing through food can be taught from a very young age. Hand them grapes and tell them to “pass one to daddy please” don’t forget to say thank you out loud and act like it’s a big deal when they do. Make sure you ask them every time they eat something and eventually it will become a habit.

Arrange a play date

Before the friend arrives with his own toys, ask your child to set aside all those possessions that he wouldn’t like to share in a box. Once the friend arrives, tell your child how fun it would be to play along with one of the toys from the box. Ask gently, “Would like to bring one of those toys?” Chances are, your child will run excitedly to bring his prized possession. If the friend shares too, it will encourage your child even more.

Talk to them

No matter how much you teach your children to share from a very young age; there’s a high chance a time will come when you’ll have to get that death grip open for extracting a possession. Never make the mistake of snatching or taking it forcefully because if things have gone this far, it has become a problem of winning and ego, the toy is merely an excuse. The best way to deal with a situation like this is to talk to them calmly. Say, “Adam you can keep it for five more minutes then you’ll give it to Sam, okay?” or begin by asking what the issue is, maybe the toy was a gift from someone.

Show him the art of sharing

Your children are not the only one who has to do all the sharing if there is anything you are eating or holding then offer to share it with them and ask them if they would like you to share and hand it over.

Why sharing is important:

Your toddler’s first lesson should be sharing, not only so that it could make your child a better person tomorrow but it will also make them more social and help them deal with problems in their later years.

  • Sharing allows your child to be more interactive with others and they can do so more easily
  • Teen years is a difficult time, it helps deals with problems and helps them to open up with others.
  • Children learn to be more empathetic with others.
  • Children learn to be more selfless after developing the habit of sharing.
  • The habit of sharing allows people to be more generous and less materialistic which helps them to lead a better life.

So if you are a new parent and believe that sharing is a lesson for later then you need to rethink because life lessons that start from earlier stick through a life time.

© Teresa Boardman, Nanny Options.

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