Sharing refers to an act of willingly parting with what we own/possess. It is reflected as a behavioral output and invariably would differ from one person to another.
At a very early stage of their life, as toddlers, kids generally develop their social and behavioral skills. It is natural to see our kids getting possessive for their belongings and refusing to share it with their friends.
For us to make our kids share their books, toys or even their food, we need to make an extra effort to reinforce the habit.
Here are some of the ways by which, we may encourage the habit of sharing amongst our kids-
The best way to start the habit of sharing is by rewarding them for their willingness to share. First let them share their belongings with you. All we need to do is to cheer them up, motivate them and reward them. Once they keep seeing the results of their act, they would get encouraged to share it with their friends as well.
We need to lead by example as well. We can’t expect our kids to do things which we don’t practice. So, when our kids ask for a piece of food from our plate, make sure to do so. This is also an opportunity to let your kids know that you are sharing your favorite food with them. They are more likely to respond positively the next time you ask them to share their stuff.
Another way to enhance this habit would be to make your kid more social. Take them to the garden or to other social gatherings, where they can meet other kids and make friends. Slowly, the kids would start exchanging their belongings and indirectly learn to share things.
Engage with your kids at home and use games to teach them sharing. You could act being an angel who gifts the kids who share their toys!
Photo by David Castillo, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/
Take them to a children's centre or to an old age home, with you, when you decide to donate your belongings. The kids would realize the importance of doing so, at an early age. Back home from one such visit, I remember my son telling me that he too would give his toys to kids in need. You can feel the amount of pride which I felt at that moment!
While the above methods would help kids to learn the act of sharing, it is also important to not push them beyond a limit when they do not want to. Never ever punish them or shout at them for not sharing and don’t make an issue about it. At a better time, sit with them and calmly tell them the benefits of sharing. Once the habit of sharing is learnt, it remains with the kid for the rest of their life.