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Why Teaching Toddlers to Share Is Important

Two toddlers sharing a pop sickle

It is often difficult to get toddlers to understand why they should share. They look at each item as a hard earned prize and cannot see giving it away easily. In the beginning most children will protect what they perceive as theirs and will not want to participate in the sharing process.

The reason for this is simple, the toddler does not see it as a brief lending process and that the object will be returned. To the contrary, the toddler will understand it to be a permanent transaction and will only get upset and not want to give their item away.

When the toddler becomes upset at the thought of sharing, it is only because they feel they are protecting an object they view as their very own. The process of trying to make them understand the concept of sharing is an uneasy one at best and in most cases will not end pleasantly. However, if the teaching process is consistent the child will develop mutual respect with other toddlers and the sharing process will begin. The child will gain sensitivity for their fellow toddlers and show responsibility in the process.

Sharing Goes Both Ways

One of the essential things a home dad should do is remove as much agony as feasible from the toddler’s initial sharing experience. Many toddlers are taught the sharing concept when they are asked to instantly give up their prized object with no remorse and this method will only introduce frustration. The toddler should be taught that sharing goes both ways, which simply means other toddlers will share their prized possessions as well.

If two toddlers are competing for the same object teach them to both take time to play with it. If the toddler knows they will get it back again soon this will take the edge off of sharing it again when the situation arises.

The home dad should show toddlers that adults share things as well. This can be accomplished when someone borrows something from the dad he can explain it to the child and then show them when the item was brought back to them. The family meal time is a great time to show how the food is shared by everyone.

Allow the Children to Mingle

Children need to develop social skills so it is essential that they be allowed to mingle amongst other toddlers. When the child can see dad enjoying a happy social life amongst friends it will teach them that making friends is a good thing.

Children 30 months old and younger do not always make good social creatures. They may play next to other toddlers, but their playtime will be solely self -imposed. Typically, once the toddler reaches 3 years old they will begin to get more involved in various activities with others. Social bonding begins to develop at this stage.

Dad’s should take the time to explain to their child when another toddler is about to visit. If there are toys the child will simply refuse to part with then they should be ignored while the other child is visiting. The toddler should have the opportunity to choose which toys will be removed. The toddler needs to have the responsibility of making decisions about their own possessions.

Photo by Blake Facey

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