“Sharing is caring” is one of those phrases that I hear in early childhood settings from time to time. Here’s the thing: “sharing isn’t caring”. If we force sharing, we are trampling over someone’s boundaries. That includes setting timers or taking the object awayI believe for most parents, we want our children to be kind and empathetic, which can get muddied by this concept of sharing. Consider what “sharing” looks like in adulthood:“When you’re done using those scissors, may I use them?”“Will you please send me that recipe later?”When children get into a conflict over an object, we have a unique opportunity to teach lots of powerful lessons in a quick exchange. Here are some of the items that we *actually* want to teach instead of “sharing”:
- Ask first.
- “I’m not done with that. You can have a turn when I’m done.”
- Respecting someone else’s boundaries.
Waiting and Regulating:
- It’s hard to wait.
- We are capable of doing hard things.
- I can handle this.
- What can I do while I wait?
- How can we play this together?
- What is something we would both find enjoyable?
- He really wants this, so when I’m done, I can give it to him.
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