- Kanika Arora
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We all must have heard that ‘sharing is caring’ at least once while we were growing up. Benefits of teaching the concept of sharing might have never crossed our minds but it is an important skill to be taught to children for cooperative play and learning. Sharing of their toys and other belongings could help them make friends in a group. Sharing among themselves in the group forms a foundation upon which their cognitive development is established. When a child doesn't hesitate to let go and waits patiently for his/her turn to play then that means the child is ready to share. Interaction with other kids in the group can also help in developing language skills over time. This plays a vital role in child’s early development.
Learning starts at home. At first it might seem a little difficult but it is not impossible to make the kids understand the essence of sharing. Children take cues from the family members around them. Family members could try to do activities like paint a picture, play with toys/legos, etc with children which involve turn-taking. Encouraging turn-taking would help children to take their first step towards learning how to share. For instance, ask them to help in decorations by taking turns for Christmas and New Year’s, ask siblings to take turns for a window seat while travelling by an airplane, ask children to take turns while reading their favorite story book, etc.
Forcing children to share is not considered healthy. Let kids take their time and start sharing on their own. Praising children’s effort to share any toy or any of their belonging can be highly effective. It is recommended that rewards should be given to children if you want them to continue the habit of sharing. Studies have shown, in the long run, children who develop the habit of sharing are more proactive in their surroundings compared to ones who have not.
Make sharing fun. After all, sharing is caring.