Don't touch that, it's mine! How to communicate to encourage sharing.

Posted by Meg Parkinson on 30 April 2013

Some ideas:

* The way we share our things with children is a great way to teach them. When you are sharing with a child, say things like, “I’d like to share my I pad/computer/cooking utensils/gardening tools with you. You can use it/them for 20 minutes or until I call you for afternoon tea.” Make your expectations clear about how you want the things you are sharing treated and returned.

* Teach children that sharing is not limited to material items. You can practice sharing ideas, thoughts and feelings. For some children this is easier than sharing material items at first and you can ‘honestly’ give them positive encouragement for being a good sharer. Say things such as, “You just told me a great story about kindy today, you are getting really good at sharing.”

Notice and mention when your child does share their things happily.  Say, I just saw you sharing with ....... You are getting much better at sharing.

* Have daily ‘sharing’ experiences, including the feelings associated with them, at dinner (that means you share your experiences and the children share theirs).

*  If your child likes to borrow but doesn’t look after other peoples’ things or doesn’t return them on time, and therefore finds that others are less keen to share with them,  use something of theirs as collateral. I do this with students at school and it can be quite fun. For instance if a child wants to borrow my calculator, I will ask them to give me their shoes until they return my calculator.

* And lastly, something not to say. Do not label children as ‘bad sharers’ or ‘selfish’ for not sharing.  Sharing is a learnt skill, don’t let the learning be ...... there is no hope for me and sharing. Also, children labelled as selfish can carry that into adulthood and end up sharing too much out of guilt. Say things like, ‘I know that you are finding sharing difficult AT THE MOMENT’.?

Let me know how you are going on the PEPA Smart Parenting Facebook page as you try these sharing ideas out.


Posted in:being assertiveparenting tipssharinggetting along  

How do I get my child to share?

Posted by Meg Parkinson on 17 April 2013

How can I get my child to share? 

I’m not Sharing!

Sharing your prized possessions happily, especially with siblings, is a skill that can take a long time to master. Following is an idea that you can use to make the process a bit easier.
One of the best ways to encourage sharing is to let children know they don’t have to. They don’t have to share EVERYTHING, that is.


Why not?
It can actually teach us to be more responsible for our possessions if we have a sense of ownership.
Having things we value that are our own can give a sense of belonging and importance.
Most adults don’t want to and are not expected to share everything. We choose what we are prepared to share.

What to do:
Get your child or children to sort their toys, pens,  games etc. into groups of things your child does not want to share at all and things he or she is happy to share. Let them put all the ‘not sharing’ toys and possessions in a special place.  Let everyone know which toys are for sharing and which ones aren’t.
Explain that this is a flexible arrangement, it does not mean that they will always have to share the toys in the sharing group or that they can never share the ‘only for me’ possessions.  At the beginning you might try re-sorting the groups each week or each fortnight. You might even notice more things turning up in the sharing group after a while.

• If you have more than one child over 3 years, it is best for everyone to sort their toys and possessions.
• If you have children under 3 years old, it is wise to continue to use distraction as well when they want to use their siblings’ or playmates’ toys  that are not for sharing.
• Make sure you do a ‘sort’ before friends come over to play, to reduce fights and to prepare your child for the ‘sharing duty’ ahead.

In my next blog, I will share another idea to help with sharing.

In the meantime, feel free to share this article!


Posted in:in chargeparenting tipssharinggetting along