Why Is Sharing Difficult For Children And How Can You Teach It?


Sharing is a fundamental social skill that children need to develop as they grow. However, many children struggle with sharing due to various reasons.

Developmental Stage:

Young children are often egocentric and have difficulty understanding the perspectives and needs of others. This can make sharing challenging as they prioritize their own desires over others. Teaching children to empathize and consider others’ feelings can help them overcome this hurdle. Understanding that young children are still learning to navigate their emotions and social interactions can provide valuable insights into their challenges with sharing. By guiding children through activities that promote empathy and perspective-taking, parents and caregivers can facilitate the development of their sharing skills.

Ownership and Control:

Children may see their toys and possessions as extensions of themselves, leading to possessiveness and reluctance to share. Encouraging a sense of community and collaboration can shift their mindset from ownership to shared experiences. Parents can engage children in activities that emphasize the joy and benefits of sharing, such as group projects or games that require cooperation. By creating a shared family culture that values collaboration and mutual respect, children can learn to view their belongings as tools for connection rather than sources of individualistic pride.

Social Pressure:

Peer influence and societal norms can also impact a child’s willingness to share. Children may fear judgment or rejection if they give away their belongings. Creating a safe and supportive environment where sharing is encouraged without judgment can alleviate this pressure. Parents and educators can foster a sense of inclusivity and acceptance by setting positive examples of sharing and highlighting the rewards of cooperation. By emphasizing the importance of kindness and generosity over material possessions, adults can help children feel more secure in their social interactions and confident in their ability to share with others.

Teaching Strategies:

Modeling sharing behavior, praising and rewarding acts of generosity, and providing opportunities for cooperative play can all foster a positive attitude towards sharing. Consistent reinforcement and gentle guidance are key in helping children understand the value of sharing and its impact on building relationships. Parents can teach sharing as a form of social currency that enriches friendships and strengthens bonds. By incorporating sharing into daily routines and interactions, children can internalize the concept of reciprocity and experience firsthand the joy of giving to others.