How do you teach kids to share? That's the eternal parenting question.
There is a lot of standard "teaching kids how to share" advice out there. I usually goes like this:
- Praise good sharing behavior.
- Play turn-taking games
- Create rewards for sharing
But, teaching kids how to share is not really as easy as reading a list of suggestions.
I'm sure you already know that, which is why your reading yet another article on children learning how to share.
It would be the understatement of the century to say that my son does not like sharing. Seriously, his fear of other kids touching or even looking at his toys is quite severe.
Now, I don't think that kids need to be able to share everything. In fact, I think it's perfectly acceptable for kids not to want to share all their toys and I don't force the issue. However, it would be nice if my son could sometimes play with the other kids at the park without having a breakdown.
Meet THE SHARING BALL.
One day I informed my son that we were going to purchase 2 new balls. This created a lot of excitement.
However, these I informed him that these two balls were only to be played with with other kids. I took a Sharpie and tattooed them with a few words to serve as a reminder.
MORE: Learn another secret parenting tip about getting your kids to leave you alone for 5 minutes here.
I'm sure the sharing balls won't solve the problem completely, but now we can actually contribute some toys to park play dates. Up until now my kid has adamantly refused to bring his own toys because, Heaven forbid, another kid might touch them.
So, give it a try. It's okay for your kids to have special toys they don't want to share, but mark a few items that are only for sharing and see how it goes.
I love that you bought toys that's only use is for sharing. It's a really good idea.
Bona Fide Mama says
That IS a great idea. We don't have a lot of trouble with this since my son was pretty young when sister was born. One thing that we HAVE done though was say that there are specific special toys that never have to be shared.
Fanny Harville says
Norris used to have a lot of trouble sharing unless we did major prep beforehand. I think the "Sharing" balls you bought are a great idea. We do something similar: we choose a couple toys to bring somewhere, at least one of which he *doesn't* have to share, and then we choose which toy we are bringing to share with the other kids. I think it is OK and perfectly understandable that kids don't want to share, and I like to acknowledge the intensity of that feeling by reserving something that doesn't have to be shared at the same time that we practice sharing.
Mom, M.Ed. (Jessica) says
Confession: I HATE to share.
Fact: I am an only child. I am raising an only child and secretly, I know I'm promoting a "you don't have to share" attitude. LOL!
Oddly enough, Benjamin is pretty good about sharing--although, honestly, he isn't asked to share very often so perhaps if it was his favorite toy, he may not be so sweet! 🙂
Mom Unplugged says
Great idea! (Did it work??)
Shenandoah Ferreira says
My little guy is the same with sharing.....hates it.
I really like the sharing ball idea. Hows it going?
Mom and Kiddo says
It's actually been working out quite well!
We had a rule when kids visited - anything you don't want to share, put in your bedroom and close the door. Toys downstairs were for sharing. Served 2 purposes: allowed my kids to have their own stash, and kept the visitors from playing upstairs in the bedrooms too far from my supervision - my kids were sure to keep them downstairs!
And I believe it's important for kids and other people to have some of their own belongings, not shared.
finally I found meaningful advice. thanks
Young children can not read. I do not promote sharing. We take turns. Adults do not share the things they have...do you share your car with a neighbor? How about your clothes? Would you share those with a person off the street? NO! Promote taking turns with things that do not belong to you. An adult share things they buy with children and the children should take turns with your toys 🙂
One can have many tools in their parenting toolbox.