Toddlers and sharing

I want to talk about the S word. The word so many parents have such trouble with. You might have guessed it..SHARING!

We all want our children to be polite little beings who share their toys happily but that is far from the reality of things. Toddlers don’t always understand the concept of sharing and they also monopolise the word “mine”. I don’t blame them, they have some pretty cool toys!

Now I have pretty mixed opinions about sharing. On the one hand I want S to be able to share and I encourage him to. We borrowed a tricycle from his friend Kaz and I try and explain to him that as Kaz shared his tricycle with him, so he must share his toys with his friends. We had a playdate at home last week and this rational sat well with him.

However, on the flipside, if S is playing with a toy and someone else wants it then I don’t think he needs to share, until he is done playing with it. We live in a world where no one is going to readily hand you what you want on a silver platter and so it should be the same for the way we teach our children to share. If I was hanging out with friends and someone grabbed my phone to play with it, that wouldn’t be socially acceptable. And in the same way, why should S have to hand over something he is playing with? It works both ways though…if another child is playing with something and S wants it, I’d explain to him that he needs to wait until that child is done (as you would for swings in a playground).

As always, Dr. Markham explains it beautifully:

How do you encourage sharing with your toddler?

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