Learning to share is difficult for children, but it is part of life.
Typical scene in the square. My kids sitting on the sand with their scoops and buckets. A child approaches shyly and takes one of the shovels. Instinctively my son tries to take it off. That’s when I step in and explain to my son that he can borrow it and that he has a friend to play with by the way. This scene that will be repeated over and over again throughout their growth and it will be up to me to teach my children the value of the word share.
“They have to learn to share” is the phrase we say tirelessly as our children grow up. Children develop a significant attachment to their toys from a certain age, so it is often difficult for us as parents to teach them that sharing does not mean resigning themselves to their toys forever.
According to a study published by the scientific journal Nature, children learn to share only from the age of 7. However, with patience and dedication, parents can start with this practice a long time ago, don’t you think?
Teach him to share, without forcing him
Carlos González is a Spanish pediatrician whom I admire very much. Theirbooks They have accompanied me throughout my motherhood, and there is an excerpt that I remember from one of her books, about children and their resistance to sharing.
In the example given by the pediatrician, a boy is playing in the sand with his things and a girl comes to play, who is interested in the bucket the boy is using. Then the boy’s father takes the cube from his son’s hands and gives it to the unknown girl, convinced that this way his son will learn to share. However, for the professional, this would not be the best way to teach our children to share.
So how do we teach it? It is best to show children that they can borrow their toys when they are not using them.without forcing them to drop their favorite toy to lend to someone they just met in the plaza.
There was a casevery controversial that went viral a while ago, where a mother titled a post on Facebook saying “My son is not required to share with yours.” In the publication, this mother tells how her little son was approached by a few children who demanded that they borrow their transformer. When the little boy said no, because he felt extremely intimidated by the abrupt request, the other children went to complain to the mother. The boy’s mother and the author of the publication excused herself saying that she supported her son in not wanting to lend the toys to six strangers who demanded something from him that he was just beginning to use.
The publication had hundreds of comments for and against. In a way, if we want to teach our children to be supportive and respectful of others, we must also teach them that taking care of their things and valuing their toys is part of that learning for life.
I am of the opinion that children should lend their things, because in life they will go through many situations where they will have to share and they will see how rewarding it is to think of the other. However, parents must also teach the little ones that no one should take what is theirs or take something that they appreciate and care for in a bad way.
How to teach them to share
Sharing is learning to take care of the other, to empathize with that person close to us. Sharing is thinking of others. When we teach our children to share we are teaching them to be better people.
My 4 and 6 year olds squabble daily over toys. Although there are days or moments of absolute calm, other times I find myself mediating between them to take turns with certain toys. I explain to them every day that they shared their mother’s womb, how could they not share a toy then! That seems to touch them quite a bit, because it has worked for me several times.
Some tips They can help us every day in the difficult but beautiful task of teaching our children to share, and to think of others:
- Teach empathy: This is the first step for your child to learn to be generous. Putting yourself in the place of the other it makes us more understanding and open to others.
- Take turns: If your son does not want to lend the ball to his sister, resort to the shifts. That is, tell him that he can play for ten more minutes and that when you say “change” he has to give the ball to his sister. It is something that can work very well, because they will appreciate that you have not taken their toy from their hands and, in addition, they will take it as a game.
- Exchange by sharing:If your child is going to lend a toy or you ask him to lend one to his brother or cousin, make sure he has another in return. Very young children can become frustrated if they are suddenly left with nothing.
- Be an example yourself: Being generous with those around us is an attitude that our children will emulate. Share what’s left of your favorite cake with your kids and your husband, always offer your help, or provide the seat on public transportation. Your children watch you and that is the best learning.
- Put away their special toys: Learning to share can be stressful. Take away her favorite toy if she is having visits from her friends at home. It may be just a toy for you but for your child it can be a very valuable possession that they fear breaking or losing.
- Appreciate when you share: Encourage him to keep sharing and compliment him every time he does. You will be more encouraged to repeat the attitude with your siblings and friends.
- Watch the age of your classmates:Your child is more likely to share if he plays with children his age. Plus, you will feel more comfortable and confident.
- Encourage him to donate his toys:Talking with youngsters about less fortunate children who don’t have toys can make them reflect on charity and encourage them to collect. I have done it with my children and it is as rewarding as it is inspiring.
With hard work and perseverance, you can help your child understand the importance of sharing and thinking about others. You are doing a good job, go for more!