- Talk it up: Your children are old enough to engage in a detailed discussion about sharing, so talk about the issue and problem-solve together: "Let's say Nathan comes over and wants to try out your new glitter paints. What will you tell him?" In your discussions, point out to your children how sharing will help them build friendships, something of paramount importance to them now
- Don't punish stinginess: If you tell your children that they are selfish, discipline them when they don't share, or force them to hand over a prized possession, you'll foster resentment, not generosity. "To encourage sharing, use positive reinforcement rather than admonishment," advises Roni Leiderman, Ph.D., associate dean of the Family Center at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. In other words, when they do share, be sure to compliment them.