Why It’s Actually Not So Bad:
There’s a difference between instant “on demand” sharing (“Give the truck to Jimmy, you need to share!”) and taking turns. It’s better for kids to stand up for their right to keep using a toy. It’s better for the demanding child to wait. This teaches positive assertiveness and respect, as well as impulse control and delayed gratification.
Keep it Appropriate: Waiting for a turn can be hard. Simply acknowledge “It’s hard to wait.” When a child’s all done, encourage her to find the waiting child. That teaches courtesy and awareness of others. What’s more when a child says “Here you go! I’m all done now!” she’ll feel the inner glow of generosity.
Excerpt from the book It's OK Not to Share. Heather Shumaker is a journalist whose writing has appeared in Parenting, Pregnancy and other publications. As an advocate for free, unstructured play in homes and schools, she lives in northern Michigan with her family.
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