Ways to Handle –When your Child Refuses to Share

Most young children have great difficulty sharing toys and other property with playmates. One reason is that they have no concept of ownership. To your little one, ownership means nothing more than whatever she is holding at that moment.

Thus if your two-year-old is unwilling to give up her toys but is quick to grab another child’s possession, she is only doing it naturally. Before you start teaching your child the first lesson of sharing she has to understand what it means to own something, then gradually she can be taught to share.

You can lay the foundation for to share when your child is as young as 18 months. Teach your child not to grab things but to say “my turn”. You should always try and honor her desire by treating her belongings with respect. Before a playmate comes to the house, ask your child to help you put away one or two of her favorite toys for safekeeping.

Then ask her to find something that she would like to share with her friend. She may have a hard time deciding through with this plan, but at least you will have introduced the idea of sharing. Slowly she will realize that when her friends come to play, they inevitably want to play with her toys.

Use occasions when you share things with your spouse, friends or other members of the family to demonstrate that sharing is something everybody does. Initially you will need to supervise closely when your child is learning to share.

You should establish rules for your child and her playmates-no one is allowed to grab a toy that another child is playing with, but they can pick up toy that is lying unused on the floor. If some toy continues to cause dispute, you should take it away for a short while.

You can again give them another chance to practice sharing before they have completely lost interest in the toy. If you find that there is still a problem, you should put the toy away for the day. Do not be surprised if a certain toy becomes too controversial. Sharing is a development skill and it takes time for a child to master it.

geeta krishnan