With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, our focus this month is on love and caring. Kindness, empathy and compassion are values that can greatly benefit children in becoming emotionally balanced and accepting of others.
As the saying goes, “Sharing is Caring”, however it is not always easy to get children to willingly participate. Here are some tips from a wide range of experts on how you can guide the children in your care to become better at sharing:
- “Mine!” is one of the first words a child learns to speak. Because toddlers become easily attached to their favorite toys, it’s unrealistic to expect them to share with playmates. Rather than forcing children to share, create an environment where generosity is modeled and practiced. Regularly point out times when you are sharing with others and make a point of saying things like “come share my candy” or “would you like to sit with us on the sofa? – we’ll make room for you.” Kids can also learn to share with Kazu, the cute and cuddly Husky puppy who is the central character in the educational apps, Kazutime and Kazutime Adventures.
- When a child sees another with a toy to play with, encourage them to ask how long the other child will be before it’s their turn, teaching them that it is okay to can ask for what they want and, at the same time, helps them understand that they sometimes have to wait before they can enjoy it.
- When a child doesn’t want to share and is upset about being asked to do so, encourage them to talk about their feelings. By identifying their own feelings and learning how to manage them, they will be able to understand and respond to how others are feeling as well. Young children tend to be very good at reading the facial expressions of others but may not be able to name the emotions they see. In Kazutime Adventures, Kazu and friends are great role models in this regard as the characters accompany children in tackling hard to learn life skills.
- Encourage sharing by playing games with children that involve taking turns or sharing items. Say things like: “Now it’s your turn to skip with the rope, then it’s my turn.” And, “You share the yellow beads and I’ll share the blue ones.”
- A few times a year, donate toys, clothes and other items to charity to teach children the value of sharing with others who are less fortunate than them. Whether it’s purchasing new items for a specific cause or donating their own things that are no longer in use, actively involve them in choosing the items so that they feel a personal connection to the act of giving.
There are many creative ways that you can teach children the valuable skill of sharing. Do you have any tips you would like to share with us, please leave a comment or contact us.