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Teaching Kids About Sharing
Guest Contributors
Health & Wellbeing (Guest Contributors)
Teaching Kids About Sharing
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Teaching kids about sharing is an important aspect of their social development. Here are some strategies to help children understand and practice sharing effectively:

Model Sharing Behaviour

Children learn by observing adults. Demonstrate sharing in your daily interactions, whether it’s sharing a meal, a book, or household tasks. When they see you sharing willingly, they are more likely to imitate that behaviour.

Explain the Importance

Discuss why sharing is important. Explain how it helps build friendships, fosters cooperation, and creates a positive environment. Use age-appropriate language and examples that resonate with their experiences.

Use Storytelling

Books and stories are powerful tools. Read books that emphasise sharing and discuss the characters’ actions and feelings. Some popular books on sharing include "Sharing a Shell" by Julia Donaldson and "The Rainbow Fish" by Marcus Pfister.

Create Opportunities for Sharing

Set up situations where children can practise sharing. This could be during playtime with toys, at the dinner table with food, or during group activities. Encourage them to take turns and share resources.

Praise and Reinforce Positive Behaviour

Positive reinforcement helps. Praise children when they share, emphasising how their actions are kind and helpful. This reinforces the behaviour and makes them feel good about sharing.

Teach Empathy

Help children understand others' feelings. Ask them to think about how it feels when someone shares with them or when someone doesn't. Empathy can motivate them to share more willingly.

Use Role-Playing

Engage children in role-playing scenarios where they practise sharing. This can make the concept more concrete and give them a safe space to try out sharing behaviours.

Establish Rules and Expectations

Set clear rules about sharing. Explain that certain toys or items are for everyone to use and establish routines where sharing is expected, like during playdates or in the classroom.

Be Patient and Consistent

Learning to share is a process. Be patient and consistent with your expectations. Understand that children might struggle with sharing initially, but with guidance and practise, they will improve.

Use Visual Aids

For younger children, visual aids can be helpful. Use charts, pictures, or videos that illustrate sharing. Visual cues can help them grasp the concept more easily.

Example Activities to Teach Sharing:

Sharing Circle: Have children sit in a circle and pass around an item, taking turns using it.

Group Projects: Assign group tasks that require collaboration and sharing of materials.

Toy Rotation: In a classroom or playgroup, rotate toys to ensure everyone gets a turn with different items.

Challenges and Solutions:

Reluctance to Share: Some children may be more possessive. Acknowledge their feelings and gradually encourage sharing by starting with less favourite items.

Conflict Resolution: Teach children how to resolve conflicts that arise from sharing. Encourage them to express their feelings and find mutually agreeable solutions.

By incorporating these strategies, children can develop a healthy understanding of sharing, which is crucial for their social and emotional development.

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