by Candice Wise, former Early Childhood Development Specialist and current Partnerships for Early Learners Inclusion Specialist
There comes a time when parents realize that one of the goals of parenting is to help their young child learn how to share with others. There is no magical age that all children are willing to do this. Some children will be willing to share at a very young age, while it takes others a little bit longer. This can be somewhat alarming and frustrating for parents to understand when it is appropriate to expect their young child to share. It may feel uncomfortable to hear your child grab and shout “Mine!” with siblings and/or peers on play dates. When young children refuse to share their toys, they aren’t being selfish – they’re behaving typically. Sharing is a skill that can take several years to develop. Children struggling to share their possessions are common childhood experiences.
SHARE SOME “SHARING” BOOKS
One way you can help your child learn about sharing is through reading books about this topic. Reading books about sharing will provide a fun and interactive bonding experience that will help your young child identify the importance and rewards of learning to share with others. To make the most out of this experience, talk about the characters in the story and help your child identify how the characters solve conflict through the scenarios. The following is a list of popular books that you can find at your local library or book store:
- I Can Share by Karen Katz (Ages infant-5)
- Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney (Ages 2-5)
- Mine! Mine! Mine! By Shelly Becker (Ages 3-5)
- Mine! A Backpack Baby Story by Miriam Cohen (Ages Infant-2)
- Sharing How Kindness Grows by Fran Shaw (Ages 3-5)
- The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister (Ages 3-8)
Cover image by Flickr user Blue Skyz Studios, Creative Commons license.