It’s Mine!

by Mum Dee on May 5, 2010

Fighting over things can be the peace breaker of our homes. Learning to share is not all that easy. Children want to have control over what they have. It is natural isn’t it? Surely there has to be limits to what is acceptable… how can we help them to negotiate this road in life?

Our children have so much to learn as they are growing up about how to interact socially. They are going to learn a lot about what’s okay and what isn’t right at home. After all, it is the best place to try things out since this is where they are loved and are secure. Best of all this is where there are referees, their parents, to keep things fair.

It all starts with that hard lesson. Sharing! We all want to have control over what we perceive as ours. Unfortunately, children often perceive everything as theirs and theirs alone. It is not inherently natural for them to want to share. It is our job to help them learn to enjoy sharing.

We need to allow them to choose certain items that are off limits to others. Those things that are particularly special, that they don’t have to share with anyone. We all need to have some things that are personal and our children are no different. They need to be able to hang onto that special doll or truck so that they can more easily allow other children to use their other things. As for the rest they have to learn to share without resentment and better yet with pleasure. Learn is the key word in this process. It will take time, and for some a lot more time than for others.

It’s really helpful if we give them opportunities to make or purchase things with the sole purpose of sharing them others. Helping to bake a batch of cookies and then having the pleasure of sharing them and seeing how happy everyone is with their effort really reinforces how great it is to share. The first time they buy a gift to take to a birthday party they often have a hard time to give it. Hence the beauty of the party favours that all the children go home with! This also reminds the birthday child that sharing is important even on their own special day. We can’t forget to model in our own lives how we share with those around us pointing out how much we like to so this as well.

When we find our children having a hard time sharing we need to step in and help them to make it happen. Stop the fight and let each child tell his side of the story without being interrupted. Sometimes we need to give our children the words to say that they need to express themselves as they often lack the language skills to put it into words themselves. Help them to negotiate a fair deal and if necessary make a decision about how the item needs to be shared. If they can’t work it out after that take the item away and get them to play with something else so that they can have a fresh start. We don’t expect our children to learn to read without being taught so there is no reason why we should assume that these important social interactions will be learned by chance.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Carmen April 12, 2010

Another excellent post!

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