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Easy Ways to Encourage Children to Share

Team StoryWeavers|February 24, 2021|

Easy Ways Encourage Children Share

Sharing one’s prized possessions is difficult for everyone, especially for little children. At such a young age, rarely do they understand the importance of sharing. Forcing children to share their toys, colours, and other possessions with others without prior notice can be extremely hard on them. It could upset them and make them feel unloved. 

However, sharing is a virtue that needs to be imbibed as early as possible. Getting young children to understand the concept of sharing without them feeling like something has been taken away from them is a fine balancing act. 

That is why, to address this tricky situation, in this article, we will cover:

How Family Agreements Encourage Children To Share

When parents expect children to share their belongings, chaos ensues and more often than not, ends in tears. A book written by Dr Laura Markham, Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life, lists a sample agreement for families on sharing belongings. This sample is limited to sharing among the family members, but a similar one can be drafted by parents to cater to their child’s unique needs. 

  • Things in the house belong to everyone in the family. If two people want to use the same thing at the same time, they must take turns using it. 
  • The family member using the shared item gets to decide how long they need to use something (usually in 30-minute slots). 
  • Turns cannot last more than a day as the sharing cycle resets every day in the morning.
  • When we want something that is special to another person or not put in the sharing box (see activity below) such as a gift, we must ask them for their permission before touching it. 
  • Times when we have visitors, ‘hard to share’ or ‘special’ toys and items must be put away. If they are found in the sharing box, visitors will be allowed to take turns and play with them. 
  • In public places (or when we have guests over), to ensure that everyone gets their turn, turns will be shorter than usual. This way everyone can play happily. 

Agreements like these make it easier for little children to understand the concept of sharing and prepares them to part with their beloved possessions for a brief period of time. 

Home Activity: The Sharing Box

The book, Kid-friendly Parenting with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children, by Daria J. Medwid and Denise Chapman Weston, mentions an activity that can help children (irrespective of hearing impairment) understand the meaning of sharing. This activity can prove to be extremely useful for children who learn things by doing instead of learning by listening. This will help children understand that sharing can be fun. 

Materials Required: Cardboard Box, Markers, Interactive toys and puzzles

Instructions:

  • Write ‘Sharing Box’ on the cardboard box.
  • Put all the interactive toys in the Sharing Box. 
  • Allow the child to play with these things only when the child shares them with someone.
  • After a couple of months, when the child gets used to sharing these interactive toys, place toys such as dolls, puzzles, or cars which require children to take turns while playing. 

These are just a few ways to imbibe the virtue of sharing in little children. It may take months or maybe a couple of years for your little child to internalise it. Like all other parenting challenges, patience and consistency is important. 

Do you think these things will work for your child? What did you do to encourage your child to share? Do you have any tips to share with other parents? Leave a comment below! If you have any other parenting challenge that you would like us to cover, drop a word at [email protected] 

About the Author


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Mekhala Joshi

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She’s the only ‘Mekhala’ she knows, and she takes a bit of pride in that. She is a quintessential introvert. Mekhala loves tea but cannot make a good cup of tea and often ends up having coffee. She claims that she takes all adjectives as compliments unless specified otherwise. Mekhala is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grade 2 & 3, as a part of Teach For India Fellowship. And has worked as an independent consultant for a couple of years.

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