Terre's Tots - Play. Learn. Grow.   Kids playing in balls in Burnsville, MN  




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Are we sharing or playing?

So many times we hear parents (and ourselves) caution a toddler or preschooler to "share" or "share nicely". Is that a logical expectation of toddler or preschooler?

First, let's be clear about what we really mean when we say that to a child. Are we telling them to share? or are we telling them to take turns. The two are very different and adults say one thing and mean another.

Sharing is when I give you one of my apple slices.....I'm choosing to give you something that is mine and I won't get it back. Taking turns is when I play with the big, red truck for awhile and then, when I am done, you play with that big, red truck for awhile.

We want our kids to learn the skill of sharing. We also want to teach them how to share..when the time is right. Before the age of three children are not able to view any situation thru the eyes of other people. Their concept is strictly from their own perspective which means they are at a developmental stage that simply doesn't include sharing as one of the skills.

But this is an opportunity to teach your child one more strategy that will help formulate their sense of worth and self-confidence. Model for your child what you want him to do. Give him the exact words he can use to ask for a turn. Help her do the asking multiple times randomly over an extended period of time.

Remember the part about how to respond when the other child refuses your child's request for a turn. Explain and then model the various ways he can react in a healthy and meaningful way. He can be sad, he can be angry, he can try another way to ask for the turn, or he can decide he really didn't want the toy that much anyway.

And, of course, redirecting your child to other activities is always a good go-to tactic to help your child deal with the emotions of the situation. Attention spans are short and in a sharing/taking turns situation that can be a good thing.


Terre's Tots - 13904 Fremont Avenue, Burnsville, MN 55337      Phone: 952-890-2078      Email:        2013 Terre's Tots, All Rights Reserved.