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Learning to share


Some experts say kids learn by experience and practice and this was very clearly brought home to me in a recent incident.

No matter how often I asked my son to share and showed him how to share – the concept of sharing just did not seem to get through. Sure, at home he was more than happy to play ‘my turn, your turn’ with his mum but when playing with other kids – sharing went straight out the window! To make matters worse my son’s playmates are all pretty laidback kids and are happy to just hand over their toys at his first request.

But eventually he met his match – someone who wanted the same toy as him and wanted it as much as he did.

It was at a birthday party and the other boy concerned was about a year older and quite a bit larger than my son. I caught the two of them having a tussle over the same toy and managed to diffuse the situation with some diplomatic ‘your turn first and then you can have a turn’.

Surprisingly, my son was happy to give the toy up and wait his turn. I encouraged him by praising ‘good boy ‘and ’ well done for sharing’ all of which possibly reinforced the concept in this mind, and made him feel good about himself and his actions. He also learnt an important lesson in patience as he eventually had his turn with the toy.

It was a light bulb moment for my son and a relief for me when it happened. He now practices his new ‘skill’ on a daily basis – well, at least most of the time!