Due to their developmental stage, it’s hard for toddlers to understand concepts like empathy, gratitude, or compassion when they’re just looking out for number one. However, it is possible to teach a toddler to share toys, snacks, and other things when they’re with their peers. Of course, this won’t come naturally, so these lessons need to be repeated for them to really sink in. If you’re hoping to get your toddler to share more, here are some expert tips!
Model the Behavior You Wish to See
Toddlers are quick to mimic our words and behavior. If they see their teachers and caregivers sharing, they’re more likely to catch onto this sharing business. It’s especially important for them to experience what it’s like when someone shares something special with them. Look for these opportunities throughout the day. “I have a really yummy cookie right here, but I only have one. Would you like to share it with me?” Or, “I’m really enjoying this book, would you like me to read it with you?” When they’re faced with a situation when they can share something, remind them of how good it feels to be on the receiving end.
Present Other Options
When there are two toddlers and just one toy truck, things can quickly become intense. When you notice that they’re focused on one single toy and tensions start to rise, try to change their focus with other options. “Yes, I see we have one truck here, but where are we going to park the truck if there’s no house? Why doesn’t Tommy play with the truck while Sam builds a house with blocks?” One of the hardest parts of sharing is when they become fixated on one thing, so reminding them that they have choices can relieve some of the tension. If the fixation just doesn’t go away, you can also use a timer to help them understand sharing and the concept of time. “Okay, the timer is set! Sam will get to play with the truck for exactly five minutes, then Tommy will have his turn.”
Remember to Acknowledge Success
When you do see your toddler sharing something make sure to say something positive. Positive reinforcement can go a long way when you’re trying to teach a life lesson. They could be sharing something and not even realizing it. Notice when your toddler sits in the sandbox at the playground and scoots over to make room for someone else. “I like the way you made rooms for your friends, too. That was really nice!”
For more tips for toddlers, you can turn to the child development experts at THE Children’s Academy, one of the best preschool in Franklin, TN. They create a safe, secure, and happy environment for children to learn and grow together. If you’re looking for a curriculum filled with creativity and fun for your child, look no further than THE Children’s Academy located in Franklin, TN. Give them a call today to learn more about their programs. (619)790-2273