Learning to share and take turns takes time to develop and doesn’t always come naturally for some. The concept of having to wait can be hard, especially for impulsive toddlers and pre-schoolers.
It’s important to note that most toddlers still don’t really understand what sharing is. They’re unable to see things from another’s point of view and are only just starting to learn to regulate their emotions. It’s usually around 3 years that children start to comprehend that sharing is the “fair” thing to do. But even then, they can still struggle with the concept of having to give something up or wait their turn. And if that child is feeling tired and grumpy then you can expect a very firm stance that everything is theirs and that’s the end of that! So staying patient and being understanding in those moments is key.
Learning to share is a vital life skill that helps kids to:
It is ok not to share sometimes – even as adults we have things we don’t share. Sharing is not fair if you have to give up what you are doing because someone wants what you have. This can lead to sharing being something that has a negative association attached to it. Instead, allowing kids to finish their play and then encourage them to share the item is a great way reduce conflict and and teach fair play.
To develop sharing and turn taking skills young children need:
Tips to help develop sharing
Things that help develop sharing and turn taking:
Remember, not wanting to share, wait or take turns is all normal development for kids under 3 years. It’s a concept that young ones are still learning to grasp and requires them to understand other people’s thoughts and feelings which is difficult for them to do at that age.
Playgroup is the perfect place to learn and practice sharing and turn-taking.