How do you teach a child to share?

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  1. profile image0
    L a d y f a c eposted 9 years ago

    My 1 year old doesn't get the concept of sharing yet. I think he's starting to get that you can't just take something from someone though.

    How do you teach your child that they can't just take things from other children, and than other children can't just take things from them? Is this a mentality not yet able to be achieved?

    1. Lisa HW profile image58
      Lisa HWposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      A year old is too young to for a baby to understand that concept for the most part.   He may figure out that when he takes something from someone else an adult takes it away from him.  Maybe he's kind of puzzled about why (and it's not a bad idea not to let him keep what he takes).  Other than that, though, he's too young to grasp the sharing concept.  The older child(ren) around need to understand that the baby may come over and take something because he doesn't know any better.  The adult needs to either stop the baby from taking whatever it is away, or else gently get it back for the older child.  As language development gets better (around two) he'll be able to completely understand what you say if you say, "Please don't just take Freddy's toy away from him.  You wouldn't like it if he took your toy from you."

      Over the longer term, children learn to share by being treated with respect, sharing, and generosity by others; and by things like having an adult not let someone else take something away from them.  They just kind of get the message that people don't just take stuff away from others but also that sharing is something people do.

      Whatever a toddler does, there's plenty of time for teaching and talking about what's done and not done once he's old enough to have good language skills.

    2. qwark profile image60
      qwarkposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      The "formative" yrs are from birth to about 7.
      A childs "character" can be "molded" during those yrs.
      it is important to stress whatever you want that child to be during those yrs.
      Islam does it and look what ya get i.e. children who will strap a bomb to themselves and, willingly, die for allah.
      Bishop Sheen, a nutty catholic, said (paraphrase) give me a child from birth to 7 and I'll give you a catholic for life!
      Start now in imprinting "sharing" into your childs psyche.

    3. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Well, hmmm.  Once my daughter came up and smacked me in the face.  I smacked her back and then told her, "that's why you don't hit people".  Don't worry my child was not harmed in this exercise. big_smile

  2. 2uesday profile image79
    2uesdayposted 9 years ago

    A year old is maybe too young for this first idea but it may come in useful under this heading.

    When my children were small if I let one share something out to be half each - the other child would get first pick of which half it wanted. So whatever it was there was no advantage to giving the biggest(half) amount for yourself.

    I agree with Lisa - try to substitute something he wants instead of the thing he has taken and gently hand the item back to the other child. A short explanation such as "No Jack is playing with that, here you have this one." He may not grasp straight away but there is no harm in saying it.

    If in a group with new children you probably need to be a little bit on guard for older children not understanding that he is too young to know what he is doing - and them over reacting.

    Sharing half of something he and you like to eat, with him sometimes might help too - "Mummy have half - you have half. " is enough of an explanation at that age.

    Hope this is helpful, they go through lots of  stages so rapidly at this age I think it is all a learning curve about life and how things work.

  3. profile image0
    L a d y f a c eposted 9 years ago

    Thanks for the advice smile This stems from an incident at casual play group where another child had a bunch of toys around him and my son walked over, pondered them and then decided on one, taking it away. The other kid (he's 3) grabbed it back from him and hit him yikes My son was obviously confused. Not that the kid had any right in hitting him, but it'll be good when mine learns that you can't randomly take things from others.

    Lol he gets very angry if the dog takes something he's playing maybe that'll help it sink in. lol

    1. profile image0
      Home Girlposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      That's why people have brothers and sisters for that. big_smile

    2. 2uesday profile image79
      2uesdayposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I use to hate it when things like that happen, first children do seem to suffer from things like this as they find their way.

      Looks like the other child is in need of learning how to share more than your little boy does. Snatching it back might have been an impulse but hitting him too was not very nice although maybe at 3 he was too young to understand. Your son was probably shocked at what to him might have seemed an unprovoked lashing out.

      I can see things a bit clearer now looking back than at the time mine were that age and now that I do not have to cope with it.

    3. Lisa HW profile image58
      Lisa HWposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      That three-year-old is the one with a problem (maybe just immature, but it's also more aggressive than most three-year-olds would be with a one-year-old).  Most three-year-olds would just whine to their mother that the baby took their toy.  Most three-year-olds are more than capable of grasping the idea that "he's a baby and doesn't know not to do that yet".  I already don't like that three-year-old, and I haven't even met him!!!  mad    lol  lol

  4. profile image0
    L a d y f a c eposted 9 years ago

    I like hearing from people who have been there and survived. The 3 year old is a bit of a stranger to the word no, it seems, from the way he is with his mom. hmm

    LOL Today at play group the same kid threw a toy at another kid. Ahhh!!!!

    Hah! A sad but good point, followed by a hilarious point. You're right though. I was actually curious of what age the 'mold-ability' starts to fade.

  5. profile image50
    Goldenarrowposted 9 years ago

    Hi Ladyface
    Great to know you are making an effort to build our society.

    Sharing is a great trait for all to possess.

    One just needs to be careful not to over-load young children with too much structure and prescriptions.

    Children learn by copying behaviour of those around him. At a very young age the child's entire world consist of only his immediate family. That child knows nothing and no-one else.

    So, the first focus in the lives of young children should be to make sure that they feel safe in their "world".

    As they grow older their world expand to gradually include others around the family, then the creche, then the school, etc. And so the child's world grows bigger and bigger over time.

    The concept of the real world is established in the home. Make sure that "world" becomes a realistic model of the real world.

  6. profile image0
    L a d y f a c eposted 9 years ago

    Great response, Golden. Thank you smile Your post makes a lot of sense indeed.

  7. Milla Mahno profile image64
    Milla Mahnoposted 9 years ago

    Poor children...

  8. matherese profile image60
    mathereseposted 9 years ago

    I think at this age is very difficult to distinguish between a selfish child and one who likes sharing.

    It is very difficult to teach an only child the concept of sharing, however you can be successful if he has cousins or friends.  Is that child going to be your only child?

    I have 5 siblings and in my family my mum taught us to share things with our brothers and sister. Every time she went out she would always come back with something to eat fruits, cake, biscuits you name it! She will hand it to one of us and she will say go and share with your brothers and sisters. Then she will stand on the side watching what you are doing. At the time i did not understand why she did things that way, now i know she was teaching us the concept of sharing.

    Now if that child is going to be an only child, if he or she has cousins it will be good to invite them round your place regurlarly to spend sometime with your child. One of my aunties who had an only child always invited his cousins round she always encouraged him to share with his cousins. You could do that with your child friends as well.

    At the moment it is too early to worry about that, if you want your child to have good manners you will have to teach him or her. Remember an early start is always the best.


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