Most young children have difficulty sharing their toys, and as parents we often feel we have to encourage our kids to hand them over if another child wants to play with them.
But many parenting experts claim we should NEVER make our little ones share.
In fact, they say we shouldn’t encourage it at all, as it may be actually doing more harm than good…
Why you shouldn’t make your child share
According to Dr. Laura Markham from Ahaparenting.com, a website dedicated to parenting topics, forced sharing actually teaches some of the wrong lessons.
Making your child share his or her toys is preventing the other child from learning to speak up for themselves and also sets boundaries with other kids.
What’s more, forced sharing also teaches kids that:
- Crying loudly will help a child get what they want.
- Parents are in charge of who gets what and when they get it.
- Children should always interrupt what they are working on to give something to another child just because the other child asks.
What to do instead of forcing children to share?
- Focus on teaching your child to be patient
- Teach your child not to grab toys off other children
- Help your little one speak up and ask for a turn
- Encourage your little one to find a different toy to play with
Many experts believe that sharing is a skill that develops as a child’s brain matures. This is when a child is able to show selflessness and empathy and understand kindness.
It’s not something that can be taught overnight.
Research conducted by Fehn and Rockenbach (2008) found that only 8.7% of kids ages 3-4 were willing to share, whereas 45% of 7-8 year-olds were able to share on their own.
Do you make your child share? What tips do you have for those with kids that tend to snatch toys or refuse to share their toys?