Are you currently in the process of teaching your kids to share? Many parents find it difficult to get their own kids to listen to them, let alone share their food or toys! But try to understand that sharing doesn’t come easy, but lots of patience and perseverance will help kids understand this valuable lesson which will remain a constant throughout their entire life. Below are just a few suggestions if you’re struggling with teaching your kids empathy:
Expose your kids to a number of play dates, which won’t just be confined to the family home. Children (especially those aged between 3-4 years old), will find it difficult to let go of their beloved toys. Instead, go to a playground or indoor facility and let your kids interact in a different environment altogether. This will teach them to share something which isn’t exactly their own.
Lead by example
Young children are very impressionable, so try and practice what you preach. Show them that you are also capable of sharing your items with them, your friends and other members of the family. Really try and make a point of this, and if you can, get the older siblings to participate as well.
If your child reacts badly to a situation make a point that it’s all about ‘taking turns.’ This will make it an even smoother transition for the child, since they will begin to understand it’s their turn next. Perhaps this will make it easier and less painful every time another child comes over to play.
Don’t force them
Forcing anyone to do something against their will, won’t ever work in your favour. Instead, create an environment which will encourage personal growth and understanding. Children will often feel a certain power which comes with keeping something all to themselves. The attention is usually shifted off of them when they are forced to share, hence the temper tantrums begin.
Don’t always interfere
Children are more than likely to develop small problems when they are required to share a toy or even time at the playground. Just because they start yelling or screaming, doesn’t mean it’s a golden oppourtunity for mum and dad to interfere.
Teaching your children values from a very young age is a great way to encourage this type of social behaviour. Watching the way mum, dad and other siblings interact is a carbon copy of the way the child will also act later on in life. Give them an oppourtunity to develop their skills and their personality along the way. These changes don’t just happen overnight – and often are difficult to break if parents and siblings aren’t willing to try something new and out of their comfort zone.
Image via Confessions Of A Parent