Mastering the Art of Sharing: A Guide for Parents

Written by: Kelsie Grossen



Time to read 1 min

In the chaos of childhood, learning to share is a big deal. This is currently what we’re trying to tackle in my own home! It’s not just about toys or snacks, but also teaching your kiddos how to build relationships and treating others with kindness. But let's be real—getting kids to share isn’t easy, and being kind and making friends isn’t really something they care about yet. This phases of life requires a lot of patience because this won’t be figured out over night, or within a week for that matter! So how do we help our little ones become sharing masters? (asking for a friend)...

Learning from the Start

Sharing starts at home. This can be especially hard with your first (like me) because they don’t have other kids trying to “share” with them, you and your spouse already know not to take toys from your kid haha. Whether it’s a favorite toy or a yummy snack, they're all about "mine." And that’s totally normal!

Lead by Example

Monkey see, monkey do—kids learn sharing by watching us big people. So, show 'em how it’s done. Share your snacks, take turns with chores, and let them see the joy that comes from giving.

Patience, Patience, Patience

When it comes to sharing, patience is your best friend. Instead of pushing them to share, encourage it. Recognize their feelings and then introduce the idea of taking turns or playing together. Lately when we’re playing with the basketball and hoop in our house with my son, we pass and periodically use the term “moms turn” and shoot the ball, we’ll do the process again and tell him it’s his turn. Hopefully this will catch on and show him it’s fun to take turns!

Playdates Are Practice Time

Playdates aren’t just for fun; they're sharing boot camp! These can be with new friends, cousins or neighbors. Encourage your child to share toys and take turns with their friends. When they do celebrate the win! Praise them and tell them how great they’re doing.

Respect Their Space

While sharing is important, this is something brand new to them and could be frustrating to them. Respect their reactions and remember you can practice then come back to it tomorrow! Also remember it’s okay for them to have things they don’t want to share, like a special toy, blanket or stuffed animal. 

As kids grow, so does their understanding of sharing. So if your toddler isn’t picking up on it now, they will! Just remember to be patient, lead by example and make sure they know when they’re doing a good job so they’ll continue doing it.