Have you ever wondered why some kids do not share and others do? Have you ever gotten tired of telling your child to share? What about listening to parents put down the fact that your children are not sharing? Should I force my child to share?
There are so many different views on how to teach kids to share, and even if they are supposed to, we have taught our three children in several different ways. When you become a parent, you have to decide if you are going to go along with the crowd or step out of it.
In my house there were three different trainings tested. My eldest son was taught to share. He had to share the swing, the toys, and his food. He shared everything, we took turns and ensured that everyone got their fair chance with all the things they wanted to do. We accomplish this through several techniques.
- Set a timer
This allowed our child to know exactly when they were going to have to pass the item on to the next user. This gives them the basics for sharing when they are in school and have a large number of kids to share with.
- Remember words matter
It can be important to let kids know that their friends might not want to play with them. Making a child feel guilt was something that I thought was an effective tool.
These ways of handling the sharing situation are not always the best. However, they might work for others. In this case it worked a little bit with my oldest son who learned to share. He now has a difficulty as an adult not expecting someone to share with him.
My second child came a short three years later, and our way of parenting changed a little but not a lot. We decided that because our oldest has to share everything and seemed to show signs of resentment, we would combat this to allow our middle one to have somethings that he never had to share. This seemed to be a good idea at the time.
Our littlest one came almost 10 years later. This gave us a lot of time to grow and change our parenting styles. This also allowed us time to see some of the benefits from the older ones growing up some. We were able to note some things that did not work with the other children. For her we took a few different approaches.
- We allowed her to create a special drawer for her special toys
This gives her the ability to put things away she knows she does not want others to play with. This also gave her a place to put things when she realized that someone was playing with something that was special. When this happened, we explained that she needed to wait until the toy was done being played with and then she could place it into the special drawer.
- We also encouraged her to let others play until they were done
We explained that she could invite friends over to play with her toys, but she had to let them play with them.
- A timer was used
We set a timer when we played outside. This was done because we only had one tree swing and everyone deserved the ability to swing. Therefore, a timer was placed on large toy items to avoid a person monopolizing the toys.
The options used with our youngest have proven to be more helpful than those we tried with the older kids. We learned that it is important to let a child have the understanding that they will not get everything they want just because they want it. This can be a disfavor to them as teenagers or early adults – assuming that they are entitled to anything that they want or see can cause troubles.
This proves that how we treat and teach our children as little ones, guides how they become adults.