Learning to Share
One day I bought a toy for my elder son as a birthday gift. He really liked it, and he spent the whole of the next day playing with it. But a day later, I woke up to the sounds of my children fighting and quarreling loudly over the new toy.
My second son wanted to play with it, but the elder one would not allow him to touch it. Both of them were unwilling to accept any compromises. Why are my children behaving so selfishly?”
The fear that children may not be able to get along with others in the future is the concern expressed in this letter is quite natural for a person to be possessive, and think that an object belongs to him or her alone.
Since children do not bother to hide this tendency, adults consider them to be selfish.
A child should be taught the basic values of caring and sharing. The best way to do this is to set good examples, and to act as role models.
When you share a biscuit or a chocolate with your children, talk to them about it. Teach them to appreciate the joy of sharing. Gradually, they will also start sharing their possessions. Sharing is not just about give and take. It also acknowledges the ownership of things to different people. When children want something that does not belong to him or her, teach them to ask politely before taking it.
The best lessons for sharing can be started when children in the neighborhood come to play. Let your child decide, along with you, how many toys he or she would like to share with their friends.
The child, naturally, wants to feel proud about the ownership of his or her toys. When others acknowledge their ownership, they will be ready to share what they have.
When small quarrels occur between children regarding the ownership of their playthings, it is best that adults do not interfere. Let the children themselves resolve these issues. Learning to resolve conflicts amicably is a part of sharing too!