Most likely, you’ve heard and even said the phrase, “sharing is caring.” If we were to break that phrase down a little, we might see that sharing is actually an act of caring. In a sense, it’s a sign that we’ve grown in the area of social development. Learning to share is actually something that we should do as children. Depending on the age, a child may be learning to share her goldfish crackers or his super cool jump rope. Of course, as we grow older, that knowledge of sharing extends further than a special toy or yummy snack. Even so, sharing can truly be considered one of those little milestones of child growth and development. So, how can parents encourage and motivate their little ones to share and work with others? We’re glad you asked! Let’s find out.
First, let’s talk about why sharing is important. More specifically, let’s discuss what makes sharing a part of child development. Okay, so let’s think for a second about what it really means to share. Is it just splitting a pb&j sandwich with a friend or letting a classmate borrow a crayon? Those are both actions that are considered to be “sharing”. But, learning to share is more than just doing what is kind or considerate. It’s literally a part of social development and understanding.
Sharing relates to the development of ownership awareness and a sense of possession in kids. Basically, children eventually begin to learn about what is “theirs” and what is “not theirs”. They learn the significance of having a reason to say the word “mine”. It’s always a good feeling to own something. And, that feeling is definitely present in kiddos.
That might be why sharing can be a big challenge for many kids. It’s not easy to surrender your will to the desires of another. It’s especially hard to do this when you aren’t used to spending a lot of time with your peers. But, as a parent, you may need to help motivate your kids as their learning to share.
Remember that learning to share can be a sign of positive social interaction. Also, keep in mind that children usually have a hard time doing this at first. Your toddler may not be as keen on the idea as your kindergartner. In fact, some kids struggle with the idea of taking turns and working with others for a while. But, you can help your kids by doing one or more of the following things:
Model caring – share items with your friend or spouse so your kids can see you positively interact with your peers
Encourage compromising – Sometimes, sharing isn’t necessarily the same thing as giving up on what you think is best. Sometimes, it’s coming up with a solution that works for all the parties involved. Work with your kids on ways to resolve things.
Explanation – Take some time to explain to your children how taking turns and working with others helps to make them and others feel good. Talk about what it takes to be a good friend and encourage them to work on those things.
Here at Ivy Prep Early Learning Academy, we know that there are so many milestones that your child will encounter. So, we work to help them succeed in learning and growing in various areas. Our staff helps each of the children receive valuable learning opportunities and experiences. We believe that a learning academy is a place to foster kids in the areas of emotional, physical, cognitive, and social development. And yes, that includes learning to share and work with others! So, if you’re looking for a place where your little ones can grow and learn with other kids their age, Ivy Prep just might be the place for you!