Teaching your preschool child how to share is an important step in building their social skills. As they go to school, they will find themselves in situations where they have to share toys, learning materials and even food with other children. If your child is possessive and doesn't like sharing, they may have a hard time fitting in. To avoid this, here are four effective techniques you can employ to teach them how to share with others.
Thrust Them into Social Situations
Most kids who have problems sharing never find themselves in situations that require them to. They probably don't have siblings or have rarely been in a social setting before with kids their age. The first step to help is by placing your child in such a social situation. For example, you can go to the park or host a play date. You can encourage sharing through the following activities:
- Encourage the kids to swap toys in the playground
- Let the kids take turns playing on the swings or slides
- Initiate games that require the kids to collaborate, for example by making art
Over time, your child will appreciate the importance of sharing as they will also find themselves in situations where they want to borrow an item from another kid.
Have a Conversation
Your four-year-old may seem too young to have a conversation, but they aren't. Sit down with them and talk about the importance of sharing. Let them know that it allows them to make friends and even play with other kids' toys. If your child starts throwing a tantrum when someone takes their stuff, remove them from the situation. Once they are calm. Explain the importance of sharing in a loving and compassionate way. Kids are more likely to listen when they are not fuming or balling their eyes out.
Use Books and Kids Shows
A lot of books and TV shows for preschool kids teach fundamental values, such as sharing and cooperating with others. They are great learning tools for your little ones. Therefore, find books or kids shows that mould this essential behaviour. Sit with your child as they read or watch and enforce what they're learning. When you're child finds themselves in situations that require sharing, remind them what the character in the book or show did.
Respect Your Child's Possessions
If your child's toys are always getting lost or damaged by other kids, you will have a hard time encouraging hem to share. Your child will become possessive of their items as they know what happens when they give them out. Therefore, avoid this by respecting your child's things. Don't let their siblings lose or damage them. Also, encourage other kids to borrow the items first.
When your child learns how to share, they will have an easy time interacting with other children in preschool. Remember to be patient as it may take a while for your little one to develop this skill. For more ideas on how to help children share, contact a preschool instructor or child care professional for advice.