Getting Your Toddler to Share

As parents, it is our job to encourage our toddler to share. Sharing does not come naturally to toddlers. Their world centers around themselves – around their sensory experiences, their learning activities, and their physical needs. In fact, a toddler who always shares without being taught to could be considered something of a rarity, if not an oddity. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to teach your toddler to share.

The most important thing for your toddler in terms of encouraging her to share is your consistency on the matter. If you tell a child that it is OK not to share in one situation, she will think that she never has to share. Sharing is something that you sometimes have to tell a child to do, whether she wants to or not, just like holding your hand when you cross the street.

Another helpful way to encourage your toddler to share is through positive reinforcement. When he does share a toy, for example, tell him what a big grown-up boy he is. Thank him for sharing. When you observe another child who shares with your child, make sure to point it out to your child and encourage him to thank the other child. In this way, sharing becomes something positive.

When encouraging your toddler to share, it is important to be aware of what is going on around her when she is with her playmates. Your child might be afraid to share a toy because she is afraid that a playmate will break it or perhaps take it. If there is a particular friend of your toddler’s who tends to abuse your toddler’s things, encourage your toddler to put away her favorite toys when that friend is coming over. If the toys are put up, no one is using them, and your child doesn’t have be asked to share. In this way, you maintain consistency.

Finally, it is important to always lead by example. Your toddler learns many habits and behavior by watching his parents. By modeling a sharing attitude, your will be encouraging your toddler to share.

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