I feel frustrated every time I see my little one or her toddler friends start fighting for toys. I think part of my frustration comes from my occupational disease as a teacher. I always teach my grade four students to share with their classmates. And usually they will listen to me because they are old enough to know being too selfish is not socially acceptable. However, how should I teach this concept to toddlers? Getting angry or intervene too early will take away the learning opportunity from the toddlers.
I am trying a few things that I read online. One of the ideas is to teach sharing through modeling. So let’s say if I have some tasty snacks, I will tell Bella, “Mommy has some yummy cup cakes and I’d like to share with you.” It is important to explicitly say the word “share” as frequently as possible so that eventually the idea of sharing will sink in.
Another idea is to encourage the toddler to share her favorite things. Make sure that she has enough for herself first. When she shares her things with her friends, praise her to give positive reinforcement.
A third idea is to celebrate important events by sharing things with the others. For example, when celebrating birthdays, it will be a good lesson for the toddler to give gifts to the neighbors or orphanage.
Do you have any other ideas about teaching children to share? I’d love to learn from all of you.