As babies grow into toddlerhood, they pass through many developmental milestones. Learning to share is one of them.
Sharing, just like everything else up to this point, is a practiced skill. Kids aren’t intentionally being selfish when they don’t want to share, they are simply acting their age developmentally. So, don’t be embarrassed when your 2-year-old grabs a toy and shouts, “Mine!” Simply turn it into a teachable moment.
Try these simple tips to help teach your toddler how to share and have a good attitude:
Start teaching the concept of sharing early. Talk out loud when you are sharing with them to familiarize them with the process. When introducing the idea of sharing to a group of kids, set rules so everyone knows they are expected to share. Model offering toys for friends to play with in front of your child so they can model your behavior; i.e. “Sam, would you like to play with Ethan’s truck today?” Then motion to Ethan to pass the truck to Sam. Don’t punish them when they don’t quite get it, express your disappointment and encourage them to do better next time. Intervene when you must to keep the peace, but with consistent reinforcement sharing will become a natural response as the child grows older.