At one point or another, you’ve likely seen this scenario play out, whether it be in a classroom, during a car ride, or at home:
Child A has a fabulous new toy that Child B finds equally exciting. Child B wants to play with the toy, but Child A isn’t willing to share. Child B becomes upset and grabs the toy from Child A. Child A tries to grab it back, and soon, we have two children engaged in a tugging match, who are crying, yelling, or possibly even hitting. Sound familiar?
The reality is that children encounter this situation often during the early years of childhood, and we shouldn’t be surprised. Sharing is a skill that requires the ability to put aside one’s own needs in order to make someone else happy, and for young children, that can be a huge challenge.
Like many skills we learn in life, however, sharing is one that can be developed with knowledge and experience. For young children, this means being able to learn directly through adult models, apply the skill in a range of social situations, and observe others (including their peers) engaged in sharing.
Wondering how to support your child in learning this skill at home?
Check out this great resource from the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention. It features helpful tips and ideas that you can use at home to help your child learn how to share! Be sure to browse through information sheets from the center’s “Backpack Connection” series as well to discover other ways you can enhance your parenting toolkit!
“Backpack Connection” Series Homepage Link: