I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life how to better understand their children.

25 Mar 2013

How to Get Your Kids to Share When They Don’t Want To

Teaching children about the virtues of sharing from a young age is one of the universal skills instilled in generations past, even if the practice is beginning to fall out of favor with some progressive parents. If your parenting philosophy is a bit more traditional and embraces the importance of helping children learn to share and discourages selfishness, there are some tactics you can use to encourage a child to share when she’s reluctant to do so.

Talk About “Taking Turns,” But be Reasonable
When you talk about sharing, phrasing it so that your child understands the concept of taking turns can be a bit easier than clarifying and explaining the entire concept of sharing to a toddler. When you discuss taking turns with your little one, however, you must be reasonable in your expectations. For small children, the concept of time isn’t fully established. To them, losing that toy they’re so fond of for a moment makes them worry that it’s out of their grasp forever. Reassuring your child that her toys still belong to her, and that she can play with a particular item again when her friend’s turn ends can make the concept a bit easier to swallow than simply taking the toy away with a vague command to “share.”

Understand that Some Things are Sacred
In your mission to raise generous and helpful children, it’s important to remember that some things are special to your child and should be treated as such. The plush animal she’s slept with since birth or the blanket that she won’t part with are comfort objects, not mere playthings in her mind. Because explaining the idea of special objects to another toddler can be just as challenging as convincing your child to share, it’s best to put those things away when you host play dates. Explain to your child in clear, simple terms that her lovey is going on the shelf until her friends leave, rather than expecting her to sit by calmly while another child handles something she holds dear.

Model the Behavior You Want Your Child to Mimic
Regardless of what you say or how you explain concepts, your child will learn much about the way she should interact with the world around her by observing you. Making sure that you model generous behavior and that you’re committed to sharing so that your child can learn by watching is an effective method of instilling these virtues in your children. Remember that as your child gets older, she’s even less likely to accept a “do as I say, not as I do” approach to parenting, so make sure you’re working on the idea of modeling good behavior from an early age.

Stamp Out Sibling Rivalry
Younger siblings want everything that their adored older sister is playing with because they look up to her and want to emulate her. For your child, however, it can just feel as if she’s expected to hand over everything she likes to a younger sibling on grounds of them being “the baby.” Helping your younger children to understand boundaries and creating a system that allows your older child to have some alone time when she’s not expected to share all of her things can help keep sibling rivalry to a minimum.

Don’t Rush to Intervene
Most parents instinctively drop everything and rush to mediate at the first shriek of “mine!” Unless kids are getting physical or the situation is escalating quickly, however, you should give kids a chance to work it out themselves if the concept has been discussed before. Letting kids that understand what it means to share work out their own grievances can be an important social lesson. Of course, you’ll need to step in if emotions start running a bit too high.

Practice Redirection
Sometimes kids are just cranky, tired or hungry and aren’t inclined to participate or play nicely. When this happens and sharing is an issue, you can make kids’ short attention span work for you by redirecting their attention to another activity, one that they find entertaining and enjoyable. Most of the time, distracting a child from the situation will end the conflict altogether, especially if negative behavior is rooted in physical discomfort.

Syndicated, with consent, from http://www.nannypro.com/blog/how-to-get-your-kids-to-share-when-they-dont-want-to/

I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life
how to better understand their children.
And I show people who are facing difficulties that they are not alone.

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I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life
how to better understand their children.
And I show people who are facing difficulties that they are not alone


  1. Repetition of THOSE values you seek to impart on your children in both verbal and modeling forms is the key to teaching them anything. As a parent, LIVE the values you want them to live...

  2. I agree with you 100% Bruce. No make that 110% :)

  3. Great lessons. Fortunately, as an only child, I didn't have to share a great deal. But I learned anyway. :)

  4. Good for you Patrick.
    And I think that goes to show that you don't have to have many children to teach them good lessons ;)