Whether you have an only child, two kids, or an entire household, one of the most important lessons you will be teaching them is the ability and willingness to share. Teaching sharing through toys is an early lesson that, sadly, some kids just never get exposed to. Insisting that your child share their toys may seem cruel to them at the time, but it will be something that will make a huge difference in the adult they develop into. Imagine if some of today's members of the upper echelons had learned about sharing and the willingness to do for others! How different would our world be?
So how early should you start to teach sharing? Realistically speaking, it's probably never too early. Your child must learn how to take turns, whether they want to give up their doll/truck, or not. If the toy in question is among their prized possessions, it's going to be even harder to get them to hand it over to another child – or you, if no other child is present. Sharing with mom and/or dad is the first step. From there, brothers, sisters, friends, cousins, etc. can join in the lesson.
But how do you encourage your child to share?
When is it time for your child to give up their toy to a sibling or friend? When do they need to realize that it's time to take turns? Consider giving each child a certain amount of time with each toy. A timer can come in handy here.
BAD BEHAVIORS MUST BE CORRECTED
Trying to explain that your child can have their turn next, after the other child is done, can be difficult. If the child reacts negatively, you've got a situation on your hands that needs to be nipped in the bud. Children that are extremely young will probably have the hardest time understanding sharing. But the earlier it is encouraged, the better off you'll be. Children of preschool age should learn to share, and negative actions should be corrected, in order for them to learn more quickly, sooner.
SET A GOOD EXAMPLE
By setting a good example of how sharing is done and praising good behavior, you will encourage sharing in your child. If mom shares her dessert with dad, point out how nice that is. Show how their older siblings sharing something with them is beneficial, as well. Frequently, good examples promote good conduct. Praise encourages positive future behavior.
PREEMPT PLAY DATES WITH SHARING DISCUSSIONS
Before your child goes on a play date, sit them down and discuss sharing ahead of time. Hopefully, the parents of the child your kid plays with have had this discussion with their kids as well. You may want to establish that with the parent before your children play together. Tell your child that they'll be sharing their toys with their friend, but their friend will be sharing toys with them as well.
Some parents even give their child the option, if another child is coming over to play, of putting away their favorite toy so that it does not enter into the equation. This might be a toy that is a favorite, delicate, expensive, etc. On the other hand, some parents encourage sharing their most prized possession with someone else. It's all up to your parenting technique.
SHOP KIDPOWERED FOR TOYS TO SHARE
When your child shares their toy tractor, truck, car, or snowmobile with another child, they are also sharing their imagination and creativity. Together, they can drive around the world, build a farm, construct a city, participate in a race, explore, and much more. At some point in life, they’re going to have to share with someone, so they might as well learn to do it at an early age!
For an impressive number of toys for your child to share, check us out at KidPowered. We have themed toys that allow your child to imagine, create, problem solve, and generally have fun in realistic life situations. Some of our themes include agriculture, emergency services, construction, leisure time, and more.