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3 - 5yrs Clinic

Social skills

Being a good sharer

Encouraging sharing is a great way to prepare your child for friendship and school, but to a young child sharing can be an irrational concept that might need to be learned gradually.

Five tips to encourage sharing

  • Playdates

If your child does not have a younger or older sibling they may be less used to sharing the things around them, including your attention. Gently introduce playdates with calm children who hopefully will not going to rise to a conflict situation. Be on hand the whole time the two children are playing together so you can step in and ease a situation by explaining what sharing is all about, if you need to. If the other child wants to take possession of a toy by force don’t let him – the school of ‘hard knocks’ only encourages your child to pass this behaviour on. If your child gets aggressive calmly take him out of the situation and explain what taking turns is all about.

  • Sharing games

Although the concept of team sports may be some way off yet, think of games where two or three children have to work together in order to reach their goal. Passing bricks from one end of the lounge to the other in order to help you build a tower, for example.

  • Support the moment

If your child or another child share what they have nicely, praise this to show it is a good way to get along with others.

  • Have enough to go round

For example: if you go to the park with your child and there is a sandpit, take two or three buckets or yoghurt pots to make castles with. Then, when your child is busy playing he will see you offer one of ‘his’ pots but he won’t lose out because there are enough to go round. This way he can begin to experience sharing without the angst!

  • Read stories about sharing

Many children’s picture books have plotlines about sharing or including others in games. Books like ‘Harry and the Dinosaurs: Romp in the Swamp’ are excellent for this. These can be a great way to introduce this common childhood issue into your child’s world.

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