Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Parent to Parent: Sharing
We've all heard the expression "What's yours is mine," but for most children, sharing can be one of the hardest lessons to learn. Now in tonight's Parent to Parent, Dr. Valerie is sharing some advice on how to get your kids to cooperate.
WSVN -- One-year-old Rowan Reilly had plenty of friends over to celebrate her first birthday.
With plenty to go around, sharing her cake was a cinch.
But now, mom Fran is trying to teach Rowan and her older sister, Samantha, how to share everything.
Samantha is slowly getting the concept.
Fran Reilly: "Everything is hers right now, so she will take things sometimes from the baby, and the baby will scream because she is upset."
So Mom makes sure to set an example.
Fran Reilly: "I do not want her to grow up thinking that the whole world is about her."
If your toddler refuses to share, he or she isn't really being selfish, they're just acting their age.
7 News' Parenting Expert Dr. Valerie says sharing is a skill that takes a lot of time and practice to perfect.
Dr. Valerie: "With toddlers it's normal to say, 'It's just all mine.' They are just learning about possessions, and they don't want to give it up so easily because they think they are not going to get it back once they give it away."
In fact, Dr. Valerie says children don't really understand what sharing means until they're five or six years old.
But you can begin teaching them by setting a good example, like sharing with your spouse or a friend.
Dr. Valerie says you should also teach your child that sharing feels good.
You can do that by donating clothing or toys to underprivileged children.
Then show your child that in giving there's also receiving by rewarding their good deed.
Dr. Valerie: "Parents, when they teach their child to share, sometimes mistake that their child has to give it up and sacrifice what they have. It's not about that at all. It feels good to share. You get a smile from the other person, you get warm feelings, so it works."
Play sharing games, where children have to take turns, like playing catch or using building blocks.
Then make sure to compliment your child when they do share.
If your child does argue about a toy, Dr. Valerie says validate their feelings, then follow these three steps.
Dr. Valerie: "There are three rules: 1) you allow them to resolve it themselves, if it's two children; 2) you suggest alternatives if they can't resolve it themselves; 3) you resolve it for them. It's always the same three ways in any situation."
Fran's really proud of her daughters for trying to follow the rules.
She hopes sharing now, makes them selfless in the future.
Fran Reilly: "I want her to know that she’s a part of a world where she’s got to share."
Parents, if your child has a special toy, Dr. Valerie says they don't have to share it.
By allowing your child to have special things, you are teaching them about boundaries.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Older Mothers of Infants to Pre-Schoolers Support Group run by Shari Silverman
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN DR. VALERIE CAN HELP YOU WITH E-MAIL US AT:
Dr. Valerie Goode:
7711 SW 62 Avenue
Miami, FL 33143