I still remember my parents asking me to share my stuff with my friends and younger brother. Every parent always encourage sharing among kids. It used to be undoubtedly annoying in the initial days and hard for me to understand – Why is it even needed? Why can’t they play with what they have? Being a child, that’s a common thought and that’s something only our parents could make us feel comfortable doing.
In my case, it took me some time to understand that sharing can help me make even more friends and having toys can make me feel good … but having great friends to play with, makes me feel even better. And this is what is to be taught to our kids now! Don’t try to make them a GOOD kid but ask them to share so that they become a happy and friendly kid!
Whenever asked, answer to “why sharing?” is simple, share if you want to be happy and friends with the other person. It is easy to state “Sharing is Caring” but hard to make all this understand to a kid. As they grow, they get attached to everything they have…. Be it their relations with their parents or with their toys and chocolates! 😉
Don’t wait for the pre/play school to start and the teachers to teach them all of this. When you can create a human being, you can help them become – a happy friendly kid or sad lonely kid. Every learning – educational, moral, or emotional should start at home and not school. All that they learn in their early years will remain throughout. No matter how old they grow, roots always remain same.
There’s a lot more to know about this. Sharing can make you stay happy and positive, and psychiatrists say that a happy and positive attitude can make someone emotionally strong as separation and failure does not affect the person to n impactful extent.
When my kid was 3, he was too shy to share his belongings with his friends and at times, it was a BIG NO. Being a parent, I was too worried about his behaviour but then I learnt that children notice and follow their parents. So, I am the one who can act as a role model.
At the age of 2, kids start observing and react to situations just the way their other family members do. It may be you or his/her grandparents or his/her sibling. In his case, it was me – his mother who was always with him at home. So, I started by sharing things with my son and asked him to return the favor next time. This continued and made him used to it. More importantly, I used to appreciate his little deeds to make it even more special for him.
I continued by then calling his friends for play dates, where kids brought in some toys. To my surprise, there was a difference in his behaviour. He knew the importance of sharing and was ready to happily exchange his toys with his friends. I just had to start by sharing some stuff items with his friends and he followed. I still remember that moment when I felt like the happiest mom as my kid had responsibly started sharing. At times, I used to reward him to keep encouraging him for his deeds.
While trying to inculcate this habit, the only thing I would suggest every parent to keep in mind is patience and respect. Firstly, stay patient as this process may take some time- may be more than what you expected… and second, respect your kid’s feeling – I always used to ask him whether he wants to share his belongings. Only a yes, was agreeable to share. NO always meant no. As parents, we can guide them but that guidance should never become an order/command. Even a child has his own feeling why to suppress them.
There may be times, when kids have issues in getting engaged in sharing activities. Then try to understand their reasons and resolve their issues. Use those situations to bring out the positive person in them. Sometimes, kids should be given the liberty to make their own decisions – be it in sharing or anything else. All we need to know is the reason behind that decision.
My son is 8 today and happily shares his stuff with his cousins and friends. A small initiative taken years ago, looks fruitful today!
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