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  • Writer's pictureCrmen Zajicek

“It’s MINE!”—Teaching Toddlers How to Share

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

Two toddlers sharing multiple eggs and playing in the garden

When toddlers want something, their feelings seem forceful and passionate. Every cell in their body works to believe that no other option will do. While most parents fear that this possessive behavior might last a long time, the good news is that after the “It’s mine!” stage, toddlers are on their way to learning about give-and-take, and sharing will get easier if taught correctly.

Here’s how parents can teach their toddlers how to share:

  • Work In Multiples

The initial step to getting your child acquainted with the idea of sharing, is to encourage play dates out in the park or a play area, where nobody is required to share their toys. If they’re meeting at your house, choose toys that are many in number, like blocks, or double of each, such as two stuffed bears—one for each child. Having the same toys to play with their friends will reduce their possessive behavior once they realize that everyone has the same toys to play with. 

Mother smiling after toddlers successfully shared their toys during play.

  • Practice What You Preach

During their first few years of development, children imitate the adults around them—from gestures to words, expressions, and even social roles. This is an ideal time to demonstrate the act of sharing.

Let your toddler see you borrow a book from your family member and then return it later. Lend a bag to your friend and tell your toddler that they’ll bring it back to you.

Once they see the adults around them practicing borrowing and sharing, the idea might not seem alien to them when it’s their turn.  

  • Recognize and Reward

When your toddler begins to share and takes turns, don’t step away from giving them their due praise. Positive reinforcement allows children to feel happy about their decisions, motivating them to increase instances of actions that give them rewards.

It boosts happiness, and a happy child is likelier to share with others. Be vocal about why they’re getting praised, so that they can remember the acts and not just the recognition. 

At Abacus Montessori Academy, our preschool and daycare center provides an environment that’s conducive to all the different aspects of growth, such as play-based activities and interactions that show care and kindness, so your montessori toddler can master the art of sharing. Take a tour of our facility today or contact us for more information if you’re looking for a daycare center near New Britain Perkasie, Colmar, or Warrington, PA.

Find out more about our day care center Doylestown here.

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