It had turned into the playdate-of-lameness as I watched the two toddler girls fight for about 10 minutes before the moms broke them up. We weren’t there to play with them, but their refusal to share 2 toys (yes, 2) had put a damper on our fun and made everyone uncomfortable. It wasn’t even 5 minutes later that I watched my toddler sharing her toys with her little friend (to whom she also said “I’m Sorry, Thank You, and You’re Welcome–all things I’m so glad she learned before she was 2). And it dawned on me. Not everybody knows the 4 Easy Tricks to Get Your Toddler to Share. And, if they do, I guess they don’t implement them…
4 Easy Tricks to Get Your Toddler to Share
- Demonstrate Sharing Yourself. Too often, I see parents telling a toddler “no, that’s mommy’s drink” or “no, those are daddy’s shoes.” If you want your toddler to be a proficient and happy share-er, you have to show them what that looks like. And clutching your ice cream to your chest and holding them back with a football hold to the head is not it. Heh.
- Be Honest About Sharing. When they want something of yours (see item #1), talk about how “It feels good to share that with you” or “mommy loves sharing with her girl”. Reinforce the feelings that come with giving and not just receiving (because, trust me, they get that part of the deal).
- Reward the Good. When you “catch” your toddler sharing–even if its with a stuffed animal or the dog, give a little comment to reinforce again. Say something like “that’s so sweet that you shared with your sister” or “thank you for giving her a turn”. Just to remind them that what they did was good stuff.
- Require the Share. Should the (inevitable) happen when your kiddo refuses to share, there’s that moment when you can wave to the other mom and say “I’m sorry–she’s just not sharing today” or ” You know, that stage!” But that’s not going to get your toddler to share at all. No, you need to actually force their hand. Even if that means taking an upset the first couple of times. They will learn that sharing is a politeness that’s required–and they won’t always fight it.
The real key to these 4 Easy Tricks to Get Your Toddler to Share is patience. Nothing with kiddos is fast, except the changes to their height. So, take a breath and know that sharing will come. Just repeat these tricks and it will happen. Sooner rather than later.
If you have any additional tricks to add, drop them below in the comments–I’d love to add ’em to the list! And hit me up on Facebook with a page like so you can see our latest goings-ons.