Sharing is a crucial skill and sometimes kids just need to be taught how to go about it!
If you’ve ever watched young children play, sometimes they’re inclined to share and sometimes it will end in a full-blown fit. New research suggests that kids actually don’t mind sharing, it’s that they don’t understand what they have to share. It’s all in the connection between the understanding of how to fairly share with others.
So, how can you help encourage your child to share?
At Community Education Research Group in DC, apart from The Creative Curriculum and guidance of the DC Common Core Early Standards, skills such as sharing are vital parts of our preschool classrooms. Learn more about how you can impart sharing in your preschooler.
The Importance Of Sharing
As adults, we all understand why sharing is an important and adaptive skills kids need to learn, but in the early childhood education classroom full of preschoolers, they don’t quite understand the concept! Typically the scenario begins with a child playing with a toy when another comes along and tries to take it — both kiddos seem to end up unhappy over not getting to play with the desired toy.
These situations are a great place to begin. Help the kids get curious about learning to share by placing boundaries and talking about sharing.
Guide them towards a sharing solution.
Solving social conflicts for kids is not the aim, what’s more helpful is to help them find a solution in sharing they can both agree on. Put in place a timer where a child can play with the toy for a certain amount of time and then hand it off. Talk about the importance of taking turns when one of them has been playing with the toy for some time.
You can offer other solutions about playing with the toy together or for them both to find another activity if they can’t reach an agreement.
As we mentioned before, oftentimes don’t know what they have to share or how to fairly share it. This is where counting can come in beautifully. If a child is playing with blocks or other things that can be divided, ask the kids to equally count what they have and share it. This may be harder for preschoolers to do, so lead by example and show them how you’re counting out the toys and how there is enough for everyone to play with.
Praise those who share!
When you see preschoolers sharing, give them positive praise. Kids respond best to positive reinforcement, so the more you catch them in the act of sharing and the more you praise it, the more likely they will be to repeat the behavior.
It’s also important not to punish a child for not sharing. Preschoolers are at a stage where they think everything is theirs, and, let’s face it, adults can act this way too! Not sharing is actually pretty normal, so it’s important to help guise the preschooler through the sharing process — identify how much fun they’re having and them prompt them to share.
Sharing is a hard concept for preschoolers to learn but with persistence and guidance, it can be a skill lovingly used in your early childhood education classroom.
For more information about our DC locations — Antioch, Minnesota Avenue, or Good Hope Road — connect with us today!