How to encourage kids to share

Siblings often fight, refuse to share and when the other one takes a toy away, there can be real conflict. This is not only a problem for the children who are dealing with it but also widely affects the parents. Sometimes these stressors can actually cause parents to argue about which child is in the right and which one is in the wrong.

After all, with any argument, it can be hard to tell who started it and who is actually not sharing. Children commonly say ‘so and so is not sharing’ when actually it is them that isn’t. Luckily there are many things that you can do to encourage sharing. Ask your child nicely: “Can your brother play with this for a little while, you can have it back after.” Even though you may not care whether you get to mess around with their toys. If you do get involved and ask them “Can I have a go?” It can be a great, introduction to sharing.

If you share things with them and tell them why. It will also help their sharing skills. This can be done with foods such as bananas, pieces of dark chocolate, or some other snack. A common phrase I and my partner say to our children is “we share in this house.” The funny thing is that we hear the children saying it to each other, they really do copy you so set a good example. Make your weeks focus to share things as a family.

Taking turns is really important when your child has a new toy or its one of their birthdays. With the showering of gifts coming their way, the other sibling can easily get jealous which is usually the cause for the storm.

Games that encourage sharing

Certain turn-taking games could be beneficial as they promote playing together, a great example of one of these types of games is snap. In snap, each person takes it in turns to place one card down. As this is done repetitively, it creates a great foundation for sharing. It’s not just children that struggle with sharing and if you do not encourage it from an early age.

They may take a dislike of sharing into their adulthood. This is quite common for those who do not have other siblings as they have never really had to share anything. Whilst nursery is very good for teaching toddlers to share, you should make sure it is also reinforced at home. My advice to you is persistent and keep it up after all sharing is caring!

Why do siblings fight?

Brothers and sisters have been fighting since the beginning of time, it’s likely that their difficulties are because they spend a lot of time together. In this time, they spend together they usually have to share their toys and this alone is enough to spike an argument or two. Debates can stem from the fact that one child is playing with a toy that the other one wants.

The age gap is irrelevant when it comes to brother and sister rivalry, and there is much research to make this point.It’s normal behaviour for children to dislike sharing and if not dealt with at a young age they could end up taking it into adulthood. It’s not just toys that children don’t like to share. Other common things are food, clothes, as well as mummy and daddy’s attention and love. Another common reason where brothers and sisters do not always get on aside from sharing is that they’re always looking for new ways to irritate each other or be the one in charge. Most of the time siblings fighting is not something that you should worry about and they usually grow out of it.

Still, you as the parent remain responsible for supporting their relationship. This means not taking sides when they have a dispute and continuously listen to the problems that either of them are facing and deal with it properly. When I was younger my sister and I didn’t fall out much and the simple reason why was because we didn’t spend much time together. I was brought up by my grandparents and she was brought up by her mum. The only time we would see one another was when we both saw my dad. For this reason, I would suggest getting one of your children to attend an after-school class. This will allow them a break from their sibling!

What can I do to stop my children arguing?

To stop them arguing efficiently you should, of course, encourage them both to get on better this could be by encouraging them to do something that both can enjoy or instead if it is obvious. Arrange for them to have some alone time.If one of them is particularly unhappy about how they have been treated by their sibling, you must listen and take appropriate action. A common discipline method for young kids is the usual step punishment. 

They should remain on the step in silence until you decide that they can get off. They must apologise to you for their poor behaviour and to their sibling. For older children, a similar method still complies. But instead of the step, they should go to their room for a longer period. The problem with the methods presented earlier is that children are not always truthful. 

You could end up punishing a child for being naughty when they haven’t done anything wrong and doing so could result in encouraging lies which will only lead to numerous problems. You should evaluate the situation carefully before you hand out any disciplinary action.

When you should and shouldn’t get involved

Whilst them fighting may not look very nice. Studies suggest that it does help development within regards to increasing their strength. Also, it may prevent your child from being bullied at school, due to them being able to utilise self-defence. There is, after all, a big difference between play-fighting and fighting to cause harm to the other. This is not something that you should encourage or be taken lightly.

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