Many parents at least once, are faced with the fact that their child does not feel the slightest desire to share their toys or food with others. This happens almost everywhere, for example: at home, the child does not want to share a toy with their brother or sister, in kindergarten, on the playground or at a party.
Children between 1.5-2.5 years have no concept of "greed." Only after 2.5 years when they begin to have more contact with other children and play different games together do they become aware of this concept.
And that’s when parents should consider a few points:
- If you are with your child on the playground and they do not want to share their toys, then you should not tell them off-you need to respond calmly. Ask them if it is possible to share their toy with another child. If your child agrees, you can give their toy to another child. If your child acts in another way, constantly taking toys from other children, then most importantly, you should remain calm and return the toys, while trying to switch your child’s attention to something else.
- Teach your child, even when they are still small, to ask permission to take someone else's toy. Of course, when the baby is very small, then this responsibility falls on the shoulders of the parents, thus you show by your example to your child how to behave. And most importantly, you should always ask your child if they want to give their doll or toy car to another child.
It is in the period from 1.5 to 3 years old that Mom and Dad should accurately explain why it is good to share. If another parent on the playground tries to shame your child, because they are not sharing, then you should not become involved. Instead focus on your child’s interest.
If your child is between three and five years old, then it will be much easier to explain to them why it is worth sharing toys from time to time. From this age, children are interested in playing different games with each other, and begin to share and swap their toys to make the game more interesting. For children of this age, it is important to explain some things to the child. For example, demonstrate how dessert, candy or chocolate should be divided between all family members and mum and dad should show by example how good it is to be generous. If at this age your child shares their sweets or toys with their family members, then this is a good sign that your little one is growing in the right direction.
Another example is when an adult will not lend their car to an unfamiliar person, and only to someone who is a relative or family member. Likewise, with children, they selectively allow people to use their toys and belongings. You do not need to force your child to share their toys in the playground or in the kindergarten, with people who are unfamiliar.
For children up to three years it is very difficult for them to understand why they should share their favorite toy with another child. Since this toy is very dear to them and your child wants to keep it all the time.
Receiving attention from other children over their toy gives a child natural and very positive emotions!
When the child turns three years old, tell them that other children may also have an interesting toy and that they could swap for a while but they will get it back in the end.
To teach a child to share, you can try to swap toys for a while.
If your child swaps toys, plays, and then returns them, be sure to praise them for it. This will lead to the children not resenting the fact that they have to share their favorite toys with each other.
Children of six years and older already understand very well why it’s good to share and what this means. When a child of this age wants to share their things with others, they do so consciously.
However, if a child older than six is greedy and constantly refuses to share their things, then in this case you need to pay attention. You have to be sure you understand the reason why the child behaves this way.
And the reasons may be among the following:
- the child may lack the attention of the parents;
- the child has childish jealousy, most often it occurs in families with several children.
- a child is allowed and permitted too much;
- The child is shy, for example, when they come to a new place, they become timid and shy and refuses to share things. This may seem greedy, but it’s just the child’s insecure feelings.
To help children to grow up without being overly possessive, parents need to respect and listen to the opinion of their little one. If they do not want to share, then do not scold and do not criticize them for it. Spend as much time as possible with your child. Be sure to show by example how important it is to be generous. Watch cartoons and fairy tales with your child and read stories about greed.
Talk more with the child about how their day was, what new and interesting things were learnt, what things happened and discuss and explain things calmly.
If a child is older than seven years and is showing pronounced signs of greed, then you should put them in contact with a psychologist.
Stay close to your children and listen to them!