11 tips for teaching your toddler how to share

by Joshua Calton-Weekes |

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

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 says: "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."

11 clever ways to practise sharing

Karen shares her expert tips to help your toddler learn the art of sharing...

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1) Use a timer

Make a game of setting it and encouraging toddlers to swap toys when the ‘bing’ says it’s time.

Have you got any tips on how to encourage your toddler to share with others? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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