Sound familiar? If
you have small children, it does.
And, while on the one hand kids love to share and give—they light up when they give a present, for
example—self-sacrifice doesn’t come quite so easily.
If you think about it, sharing is actually a pretty
complicated social situation. It requires quite sophisticated thinking and
emotional intelligence. It demands that
we think ahead, consider another person’s desires, balance our emotions and control
our impulses. Most adults sometimes struggle with these skills!
Sharing is an awful lot to ask of a little one, particularly
when we intrude upon what she’s doing in a given moment. When young children have a hard time taking
turns or sharing, it's often because they have difficulty handling their big
feelings. They don't yet have the skills
to say, "I'm sorry, but I’d rather play with these blocks by myself right
now.” So instead, they handle the
situation their own way. They throw a
fit. They grab. They hit. They cry.
Sharing isn’t usually fun. And it’s not easy to do. But as you know, it’s one of the skills children
need to learn. So how do we help them
develop the ability to share and take turns?