As parents, we are keen to encourage our little ones to share, to support them as they develop their social skills. However, we should remain mindful that they may not be developmentally ready, sharing is skill that will take many years to fully understand.
Around the age of 2 and a half your toddlers’ ability to play collaboratively will be improving.
Although your little one will be beginning to develop empathy the ability to share and to understand how to share is a complicated process.
Through play your little one will grow and learn. They will develop their understanding of sharing and how to control their emotion, that is needed to share.
For a lot of toddlers, the idea of sharing a toy can feel very unsettling, they are yet to fully understand that if they give a toy to a friend, that they will get it back. They are still learning and may feel as though they are giving the toy away forever.
To support your little one’s learning try to encourage “taking turns”.
Here are a few tips;
♡Positively praise your little one when they allow a friend to have a turn.
♡Demonstrate how fun it can be to share and play together.
♡Calmly explain the process to your little one, to support their understanding “you give teddy a cuddle and then you can let Emelia have a cuddle too”
♡Encourage sharing in your daily activities, sharing your items – “I’m brushing my hair – would you like to have a turn of my hairbrush?” “Would you like to share my nectarine?”
♡Understand the special toys. Some toys or items may be particularly special to your little one and will make taking turns difficult and upsetting. Try to put them away somewhere safe before playtime.
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Enjoy the journey!