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by Apurva Rungta 29 Nov 2022 0 Comments

Misbah Fathima

We teach our children from a young age that "sharing is caring".

Nevertheless, has this ever happened to you?

You are at a relative's house and you see another child coming towards your kid, because they want to play with your child's bag of toys. Instead of being happy to have a new friend and play together, your toddler/pre-schooler throws a tantrum. This behaviour from your child makes you feel like a terrible parent.

Some silly thoughts would come to mind:

"I feel awful!"

"Everyone would think I raised a selfish kid!"

"I failed as a parent" and so on. Believe me! You are not alone.

Every parent has faced this situation at some point in their life. Fighting over toys without a valid reason will also happen among siblings. As a mother of two daughters, I have been confronted with this situation several times.

So calm down before you react. And stop being so hard on yourself or the kid.

This type of behaviour from your child is normal and acceptable. Forcing or scolding a child to share things can delay the development of sharing skills. Toddlers/pre-schoolers are self-centred, they don't like the concept of sharing their favourite things with others, so they find it difficult when pushed to do so. According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), children under the age of three do not recognise the idea of sharing. Before the age of 5, a child does not have full impulse control.

As your child learns to share, they begin to understand the concepts of empathy, generosity, cooperation, teamwork, turn-taking, compromise and patience.

Sharing is one of the vital competencies that needs to be taught, by gently encouraging children to share.



We all know that children learn a lot by watching us. So make sure you share a few things when you're around them. It will also encourage them to take turns, show humanity and help others. For example, share some snacks with your partner and ask your kid if she wants to share her stuff too and tell her how good it feels to share the thing.


If you see a child or sibling sharing things, point out what they are doing and clap for it. My older daughter loves to craft and my younger daughter will ask, "Didi, can you share with me?" . Every time I see my kids sharing their stuff, I walk up to them and congratulate them. I will tell my 3 year old daughter that your sister shared her craft with you today. That was very kind of her. Would you like to do the same?”
She will be excited and will take her crayons and offer them to her sister.


We often focus on children's misbehavior and react to it easily. Instead, respond to positive behavior and praise them for it. For example, thank you for sharing your crayons with your sister today. You made her happy.

Such praises will make your child understand that sharing is a good thing, and they’ll like to do it more often.


As adults, we have possessions that we don't want to share with anyone. Similarly, children also have some favourite toys or things they don't want to share. When you respect your child's belongings, they feel safe and secure.


Make sure your child is interacting with other children, whether it's at the park or in a playgroup. Before you go to a playdate, ask your child to take some toys that they and their friends would enjoy.
Ask their friend to bring toys for both of you. This gives kids a chance to socialise and practice sharing.


Involve your child in daily activities such as picking up toys, folding clothes, playing with the family, and other household chores that encourage collaboration, patience and lots of fun.


Encourage your children on solving problems. If they are fighting over the red car, ask your child and their playmate to think about how you can both play with just one car. You will be surprised by their opinions. Provide your children with such opportunities so that they understand teamwork, empathy and willingness to change.


When your kid stops playing with some toys, consider donating them to a charity with your kid’s participation. Take them to NGOs or orphanages and encourage them to give away the toys, so they understand how sharing can make someone happy and how donations can make a difference.
After all, sharing is an art that must be learnt little by little. Don't compare or compete with another child. Let your child enjoy their childhood and learn the process of sharing with all the fun.

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