Feel like your kids are acting in selfish ways? Teaching kids to share can be tricky, you want them to go after their dreams, stand up for themselves and have their personal space but not at the expense of running other people over, or shutting them out, especially if that someone is a sibling.
In many cases a child can fiercely guard possessions, their room or a ‘best’ friend in order to feel safe and secure. Rather than force your child to share, and possibly threaten that sense of security, it’s best to teach them why sharing is important. When they learn that people and connections are more valuable than items and labels they can open a safe space to feel loved, show love and gain trust - they can really grow with.
Here are some ways to help teach your kids to love sharing…
Pass the baton:
In many cases when you ask your child to ‘share’ it means they have to relinquish whatever they have and watch it disappear. Who wants to do that? Instead, make sure that sharing goes both ways, with a turn being passed back again so that both (or all) parties get to share over and over. You may even grab a stick or a pen, and whoever is holding it gets to speak. Once they are done speaking they pass it over to the next person (just like a baton). Appreciate:
Thank your kids when they share or act with kindness towards others. They will appreciate you noticing and commenting, no matter how small the act.
Let them choose:
It can be hard for adults to understand attachments children put on things sometimes. If your child absolutely won’t share a certain thing, accept they are not ready or they have their reasons and give them time to find their own creative solutions. Rather than focus on the selfishness of what you see, ask them about what they are feeling and have a discussion about the item or activity and what it means to them. The answers may surprise you.