Teaching kids to share. Or not to share?

August 18, 2022

Have you been seeing ALL over social media that you don’t need to share? It seems to be all the buzz of every click-bait style social post at the moment. But what DOES the research say about teaching your child to share … or not share?

First and foremost, research shows that kids actually are WIRED to cooperate and share. It may not always be easy to share, but humans are a social, community-minded species on the whole, and this goes for our littlest ones too. So yes, we DO want to model and teach our kids how to share. We want to nurture their natural inclination towards being kind to and cooperating with others, so that we raise thoughtful, inclusive kids.

That being said, the research also shows that kids are better are sharing, and fewer power struggles pop up when we give our children the *choice* to share, rather than forcing them into the act. This means that every time your kids get into a power struggle with their siblings or friends, you don’t need to jump right in and manage the situation for them. You can give them a chance to navigate the situation themselves, and see if they can use their problem-solving skills to come up with a sharing or turn-taking solution on their own. 

Remember kids learn by doing. So next time a sharing squabble pops up, take a step back and see if your child can figure out how to work with their peers to figure out how everyone can get a turn. 

If you want more effective strategies and tools for teaching your kids to share, take our sharing lesson in our Taming Tantrums & Managing Emotions workshop (which is also part of the Bright Futures course!).

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