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Lifeskills: Sharing

How to encourage your child's generous streak

Posted: 17 April 2012
by Junior

Sharing is not something that comes naturally to young children, but it is an important social skill that they will need to master to make friends. As with most skills, your job is to offer gentle guidance, encouragement and praise. Here are a few tips that can help.

• Make the underlying principle one of fairness and involve your child in the decision making. Talk to him about why it is nice to share his cars and ask him to choose which car his friend can play with. This way, he is playing the important role without negativity or aggression. You can also explain the benefits to him (his friend will also share his toys with him).

• Never force your child to share by threatening to take him home, or depriving him of a treat. He should see that sharing with friends and siblings can be enjoyable rather thank something to be feared.

• Your child will learn by imitation, so take every opportunity to show him how to share. Let him help with the cooking or offer him a bite of your cake and tell him you are sharing with him.

• Before playmates come over, let your child hide away his favourite toys if he finds it hard to share them, but make sure there are plenty of toys that he is happy for others to play with.

• Let your child know that sometimes it is okay not to share. Teach them to respect other people’s property and that they may not always be able to have what they want.

• Always give your child lots of encouragement and praise when he shares.

More lifeskills:

Washing hands

Looking after a pet


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