Not only is sharing important for succeeding in the preschool and kindergarten classroom, it’s a quality that is essential for functioning in society. It is important to cultivate the ability to share at a young age so that a child internalizes the idea of sharing and is able to engage in cooperation later in life.
During the toddler years, children develop their sense of being separate from others and discover the words “me” and “mine.” Sharing is not an innate ability that occurs along the developmental pathway. Instead, it is a skill that needs be learned verbally, through observation, and from experience. Reinforcing the importance of sharing throughout childhood fosters cooperation, a sense of social responsibility and responsibility to others, the ability to engage in teamwork, empathy, kindness, and social skills, among other attributes.
Interestingly, new Cornell research suggests that allowing children to freely choose to give valuable possessions to another leads them to share more in the future. Encourage your child to share with friends and playmates to develop this critical social skill!
Seat the children in a circle
Help every child to take turns and pick out one cookie.
Ask the child to 'share' the cookie with his 'friend' on the right
Continue this in the circle till you empty the cookie jar while taking turns!
Disclaimer: This presents an overview of child development. It is important to keep in mind that the time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than the average but still be within the normal range of development. This information is presented to help parents understand, at a high level, what to expect from their child. Any questions/concerns you may have about your child’s development should be shared with your doctor.