Parents should realize that toddlers just over a year old are too young to understand the concept of sharing. Having only recently gained independence and a few possessions of their own, most toddlers are unwilling to part with their precious bounty.
We come across two types of reaction from toddlers when they are told to share their stuff:
- Some refuse to give and create a ruckus.
- Others silently give away and opt to pout the whole day long.
Here are a few tips on teaching your young ones to share:
- Teach toddlers that they can own something but can also lend it for a time and claim it back after that time limit is over.
- Promote sharing in daily chores like making them do their share of work while shopping in the supermarket. They can get things that they need themselves—avoid sections that have breakable items.
- Devise plays and games, which involve participation with other children. For example, they could build a train out of the several shoeboxes lying around.
Once they have understood this concept, it will be easier for them to share. They will learn that the benefits are mutual when they get their friend’s favorite toy to play with for a while. They also have to learn to wait until they get a toy when it is being used by some one else.
Toddlers may have one or two favorite toys that they can play with when they are alone. Allow them to play with their own toys (especially new ones) to their heart’s content. Build a special toy box where you put in their old toys and many other toys bought at garage sales. This box can be opened when you have other kids over. Once they have had their fill playing with their favorite toys, they may find it thrilling to share the toys from the “special box” meant for all.