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Sharing Made Simple

We’ve all heard the saying, “Sharing is Caring”, and it is! Sharing is an important skill to develop. We use sharing in many areas of our lives, even as adults. For kids, sharing may not come as easy. This means we should start teaching this skill early on and encourage it as much as possible. We must be practical and realistic and teach what is appropriate to share and what is not. There are things that are not okay to share and we need to teach kids about those things, too.

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Little girls sharing their toys.

How Do We Teach Sharing?

What is Sharing?

Start by teaching the meaning of sharing. What does it mean to share? This should be an explanation that the child is capable of understanding. You can share a video to explain it or you can model the gesture to make it easier to understand.

Familiar People

Sharing with people you know tends to be more comfortable. You can encourage sharing by playing a game together and talk about taking turns.

A family sharing and taking turns during a fun game of Jenga.

Use a Timer

Set a timer so that each person has the same amount of time. When the timer goes off, that indicates it is the next person’s turn. This can make it easier to let go of a wanted toy or a crayon they are currently using but someone else might need it.

2Pack Classroom Timers

Various colors available

Different Types

There are different ways to share. Sharing could mean:

  • Each person takes a turn
  • Individuals play with or work on the same thing
  • Let someone borrow or use something
  • We share a meal, like pizza
  • When we share a story with someone.
Sharing a pizza together.

What is Ok to Share? & What is Not?

We need to establish those things that are ok to share and those that are not. There may be items that have a high or sentimental value, are very preferred, or might be personal and may not be appropriate to share. Teaching this is important since not everything has to be or should be shared.

How to Encourage Your Child to Share?

Modeling

Model sharing behavior in front of your child can make sharing easier to learn. You can model and make sharing gestures for those items that can be shared like books, toys, crayons, paper, cookies, and other sharable items.

Establishing Sharing Rules

Establish rules around sharing—who things can be shared with, how long to share, and what to share. This can help take the stress out from kids and allow them to follow the rules and have fun.

Establish Communication

Establish methods of communication that work best for your child so that they can ask if it is ok to share something when they are not sure or have the autonomy to not want to share something they hold valuable.

Sharing made simple with a heart in the middle.

Social Stories

You can use a social story to teach and promote sharing. You can use social stories before the expected behavior and then use them as reminders. Check out our social story on sharing here.

Some kids might have a harder time sharing and that’s ok! Be patient and continue to teach and encourage sharing. If you need additional help, contact us, we’d love to hear from you.

Disclaimer: The information and content in this blog and any links and materials are not intended to be and should not be construed or substituted as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician and or other qualified healthcare professionals with any questions you may have.