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How to teach your toddler to share

How to teach your toddler to share

As a mum, you already have an amazing array of skills to help navigate your child through her day-to-day ups and downs.

And we bet that you’re already an ace when it comes to refereeing enthusiastic toddlers tussling over toy cars.

But why not help your child learn a new skill this Christmas? With all those exciting new toys and tasty treats around, it’s the perfect time to help her discover the joys of taking turns.

Sharing is a hot topic with mums. It’s absolutely natural for you to want your child to be able to share nicely, but it’s also natural that she simply doesn’t understand that she should just yet. Sharing requires an understanding of other people’s feelings, and babies and toddlers don’t grasp this straight away.

Psychologist and former play specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital Karen Sherr explains: ‘Babies and toddlers have a strong sense of self. This doesn’t mean they are aware of themselves as individuals, rather that they are naturally self-centred and don’t realise they are separate from everyone and everything else. This means that they have no idea how their actions affect others.’

So start this journey from a place where you don’t expect your child to share. ‘Parents can be disappointed and embarrassed when their child doesn’t naturally share. But there is absolutely no reason why she should: she’s simply not designed to,’ says Karen. ‘Not sharing is not a reflection of her personality, it doesn’t mean she’s unkind or mean, but only that she doesn’t know what it is to share.’

To find out more about how to teach your little one to share, download the January 2017 issue of Mother&Baby Magazine to read our feature in full. 

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