Should Parents Force Their Kids to Share? Here's What I Think... by Jill Ceder, LMSW, JD

Opinion Parenting
6 years ago

Should Parents Force Their Kids to Share? Here's What I Think...

Many parents force their kids to share, but this method can send a bad message. Instead, I feel parents should:

  • Provide language and tools to handle situations. We should model patience and provide appropriate language to ask for a toy and accept the response if your kid has to wait his turn. 
  • Teach kids to advocate. By teaching kids to ask kindly, advocate for themselves and work things out with other kids, we are teaching important life skills. If we are always jumping in, kids lose the ability to learn from the experience. 
  • Encourage self-regulation. Children should be able to play freely, feel fulfilled by their experience and then be able to give the toy over when they are finished. This method encourages self-regulation, self-discipline and the ability to know when one is feeling satisfied. 

Teaching your child how to ask for a turn, how to to wait and how to take turns is a learning experience. So what do you think?

Elisa Schmitz
Interesting perspective, Jill Ceder, LMSW, JD ! Never thought about it this way, but makes total sense!
Michele Lengerman
This is so hard and completely my life right now. I try not to push too hard when he's using something and doesn't want to hand it right over. But when he starts grabbing things away from other kids and saying "mine" my instinct is always to step in and talk about waiting for our turn.
Teacher Karen
I NEVER made any of the preschool children give up the toys they were playing with--instead they were given the words: "I'll give it to you when I'm finished" say. I felt it supported the child playing in their very important work (of playing) as well as giving the kiddo wanting the toy the recognition that they some point..have it. Of course sometimes waiting is hard and I was always available to listen to those feelings of frustration, even anger, and then discuss what else they could do while waiting..emphasizing I would remember that they were next in line for that toy.
Brian Mackenzie
my kids don't need to share what they are using, but the stuff that gets picked out by whatever kid are just new 'family stuff'. we're living the unschool life and it has worked out perfectly for us this way. they have a few or several of their 'own things' but for the most part, it's all family stuff, and whoever wants to have fun with it is welcome to...unless it's being used :)

some other kid at the park wants to play with the girl's ball and the girl doesn't? bye, kid :D
Dawn Taylor
I think this is great, kids should have some control over their sharing practices. At home, though, I always encourage sharing of things like clothes because when we all help each other out when getting ready, it becomes a supportive unit and I like this collaboration. My teen girls and I have always been generous with each other in this regard, and I always say life's too short and pick your battles.

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