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Learning to share: a guide for parents

Sharing is one of the most important skills a child should develop while they are young. Sharing helps children get along with their peers, play cooperatively and understand fairness. Here are some tips on how to teach their little ones how to share effectively.

Talk About the Concept of Sharing

Introduce the concept of sharing in simple words (so that your little one can understand). Depending on the age of your child, use vocabulary and phrases that are easy for them to understand. Explain how sharing helps us make and maintain friendships. Most importantly, model sharing with your partner, older children and friends. Give your child opportunities to practice sharing.

Acknowledge Your Child’s Sharing Efforts

Positive reinforcement is an excellent way to promote a desired behavior in children. One way to provide positive reinforcement is by verbally acknowledging every time your child shares. You can say, “I liked the way you let your sister have an apple slice. Great job sharing!” A statement like this shows your child that sharing is a kind action that you approve of.

Point Out Good Examples of Sharing

When you and your child see an example of adults and/or little ones sharing, be sure to point the behavior out. You could say, “Your brother shared his toys well with your sister. That was very nice of him!” Over time, making comments like this helps your child understand the importance of the behavior and may encourage him or her to imitate that behavior or action.

Play Games That Involve Sharing

Another way to teach this important value is through games that are fun and engaging and that require sharing and taking turns. There are many great indoor and outdoor games that help reinforce sharing and turn-taking in children. They can be played at home among siblings, during play dates with friends or at the playground with neighbors. Board games, building towers, and family-style lunches are a few examples of activities that require children to share equipment, take turns, and practice being kind and patient.

According to U.S. News, there are more than 30,000 private schools in the United States. As you prepare to send your little one to a private preschool, consider implementing the tips provided above and also look for preschools that promote these kinds of skills and values in their students. Key Point Academy supports families by fostering these values early on through their social-emotional program!