10 Effective Strategies For Teaching Kids To Share

What's Covered

Sharing is an important social skill that children need to learn in order to develop positive relationships with others. However, sharing does not come naturally to all children and can be a challenging concept for them to grasp. As adults, it is our responsibility to guide children in developing this skill.

In this article, we will discuss 10 effective strategies for teaching kids to share. These strategies are based on research and expert opinions, and have been found to be successful in helping children learn to share. By implementing these strategies, parents and educators can create a positive learning environment that fosters the development of sharing skills in children.

Additionally, these strategies can help children develop other important social skills, such as empathy, communication, and turn-taking.

Key Takeaways

  • Sharing is an important social skill that needs to be taught to children.
  • Creating a positive learning environment and modeling sharing behavior is crucial for effective teaching.
  • Strategies such as setting clear expectations, teaching turn-taking, and encouraging creative problem-solving can be helpful in teaching sharing behavior.
  • Conflict resolution skills, positive communication, and empathy development are key strategies for healthy relationships and managing emotions in children.

Model Sharing Behavior Yourself

Exemplifying sharing behavior as a teacher or parent can serve as a powerful tool in facilitating the development of sharing skills in children. When adults model sharing behavior, children are more likely to internalize these values and adopt them as their own.

Adults can lead by example by sharing their belongings with others, offering help when needed, and engaging in cooperative activities that require sharing. Role modeling sharing behavior is especially important for young children who are still developing social skills.

By seeing sharing behavior modeled, children learn how to interact with others in a positive and cooperative manner. Additionally, when adults praise and reinforce children for their sharing behavior, they are more likely to continue exhibiting these behaviors in the future.

Overall, modeling sharing behavior is an effective strategy for teaching children to share and promoting positive social development.

Create a Positive Sharing Environment

Fostering a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere can encourage children to willingly share their possessions with their peers. Creating boundaries and fostering independence is important when teaching kids to share. Children need to learn that they have ownership over their belongings, but also that sharing with others can bring joy and enhance social skills.

Parents and caregivers can help by setting clear expectations and rules surrounding sharing, such as taking turns with toys or sharing snacks during playdates.

Creating a sharing culture involves involving parents and caregivers in the process. It is important for adults to model sharing behavior and encourage children to share. Adults can also facilitate sharing opportunities, such as planning playdates or activities where children must share resources.

By creating a positive sharing environment, children can learn to balance their individuality with sharing, leading to positive social interactions and the development of important life skills.

Teach Turn-Taking

One important aspect of promoting sharing behavior in children is teaching them the concept of turn-taking. Taking turns is an essential part of social interactions and helps children learn the importance of fairness.

When children are taught to take turns, they learn to wait for their turn and understand that everyone has equal opportunities to participate. Teaching turn-taking also helps children develop their problem-solving skills as they learn to negotiate and compromise with others.

Children who understand the concept of turn-taking are more likely to share their toys and play cooperatively with others. By teaching children to take turns, parents and educators can help them develop important social skills that will benefit them in their future interactions with others.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Utilizing positive reinforcement techniques can encourage children to engage in sharing behaviors and improve their overall social skills. Reinforcement is a technique used to increase the likelihood of a particular behavior. Positive reinforcement involves giving something desirable to a child after they exhibit a desired behavior, such as sharing.

The benefits of reinforcement include the promotion of positive behaviors, increased motivation, and improved self-esteem. When positive reinforcement is consistently used, a child may be more likely to engage in sharing behaviors on their own without the need for reinforcement.

There are different types of reinforcement that can be used to encourage sharing behaviors in children. One type is social reinforcement, which involves providing praise, attention, and approval when a child shares. Another type is tangible reinforcement, which involves giving a child a reward or prize for sharing.

It is important to match the type of reinforcement to the child’s preferences and interests. For example, some children may respond better to social reinforcement, while others may prefer tangible reinforcement. By utilizing positive reinforcement techniques and identifying the type of reinforcement that works best for each child, parents and educators can teach children to share effectively and improve their overall social skills.

Build Empathy Skills

Developing empathy skills is crucial for children’s social development and can positively impact their ability to share and interact with others. Teaching compassion is a fundamental aspect of developing empathy skills, as it helps children understand the emotions and perspectives of those around them.

By encouraging children to consider how others feel, parents and educators can help them develop a sense of empathy that extends beyond their own needs and desires. In order to teach empathy and compassion, parents and educators should model these behaviors in their own interactions with children.

They can also encourage children to think about the feelings and perspectives of others by asking open-ended questions and encouraging them to express themselves in a safe and supportive environment.

By creating opportunities for children to practice empathy and compassion, parents and educators can help them develop the social and emotional skills they need to succeed in relationships and interactions with others.

Use Role-Playing and Storytelling

The use of role-playing and storytelling is an effective strategy in teaching kids to share.

It allows them to see examples of sharing behaviors and encourages their creative problem-solving skills.

Additionally, it provides an opportunity to teach conflict resolution strategies and how to handle difficult situations in a positive manner.

Use Examples to Illustrate Sharing Behaviors

Illustrating sharing behaviors through examples can effectively teach kids the importance of sharing. By showing children the benefits of sharing, they will be more likely to understand the value of sharing.

Here are some examples that can be used to illustrate sharing behaviors:

  • A child sharing their toys with a friend
  • A family sharing a meal with neighbors
  • A sibling sharing their snack with their brother or sister
  • A group of children taking turns on a swing at the playground

These examples demonstrate how sharing can lead to positive outcomes, such as building friendships, fostering a sense of community, and promoting fairness and equality. By using relatable situations, children can better understand the benefits of sharing and be more willing to practice sharing behaviors in their own lives.

Additionally, using examples can help children to see that sharing is not just a one-time act but rather a habit that should be practiced consistently.

Overall, using examples to illustrate sharing behaviors can be an effective strategy for teaching kids to share. By showing children the benefits of sharing through relatable situations, they can better understand the importance of sharing and be more motivated to practice sharing behaviors in their daily lives.

Encourage Creative Problem-Solving

To effectively teach kids how to share, it is important to use examples that highlight sharing behaviors. This approach helps children understand the concept of sharing and its importance in daily life. However, examples alone may not be enough to instill sharing habits in children. As such, it is important to encourage creative problem-solving as a means of fostering the sharing habit.

Creative problem-solving involves finding unique solutions to common problems. In the context of sharing, this may involve playing sharing games that challenge children to think outside the box when sharing resources. These games not only encourage children to share but also help them develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

By using creative problem-solving techniques, children can learn to share effectively and develop the habit of sharing in their daily lives.

Teach Conflict Resolution

Learning conflict resolution skills is an integral part of teaching children how to navigate social situations and build positive relationships with others. By teaching techniques for resolving conflicts, children can develop the ability to communicate effectively, listen actively, and think critically. Conflict resolution skills can help children to manage their emotions and solve problems in a constructive and peaceful way.

Here are three common conflicts that can arise between children, along with teaching techniques for resolving them:

  1. Disagreements over toys or other possessions: Teach children to use ‘I’statements to express their feelings and needs, and to negotiate a compromise that works for everyone involved.

  2. Bullying or exclusion: Teach children to stand up for themselves and others, assert their boundaries, and seek help from a trusted adult if necessary.

  3. Misunderstandings or hurt feelings: Teach children to actively listen to the other person’s perspective, express empathy and understanding, and work together to find a solution that meets everyone’s needs.

By teaching conflict resolution skills, we can help children to build healthy relationships and develop the skills they need to succeed in life.

Encourage Communication

Effective communication is a vital skill that children need to develop in order to successfully navigate social situations.

Encouraging children to express their feelings is an important step towards helping them communicate effectively.

Active listening and promoting positive communication are also key strategies that can be used to encourage children to communicate in a healthy and productive manner.

By teaching these skills, children can develop strong communication skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Teach Children to Express Their Feelings

One approach to teaching children to express their feelings is to encourage them to use specific and descriptive language to communicate how they are feeling. This can be done by modeling the behavior yourself, using feeling words when speaking to your child, and asking them to do the same. Additionally, teaching emotional intelligence and fostering self-awareness can help children understand and express their emotions in a healthy way.

To further encourage children to express their feelings, it can be helpful to create a safe and non-judgmental environment where they feel comfortable sharing. This can be done by actively listening to your child, acknowledging their emotions, and validating their feelings. By doing so, children will feel heard and understood, which can lead to increased confidence in expressing their emotions. Overall, teaching children to express their feelings is an important step towards developing healthy social and emotional skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

EmotionDescriptive Word
HappyJoyful, Elated, Content
SadUpset, Disheartened, Melancholy
AngryFrustrated, Irritated, Livid
ScaredFrightened, Terrified, Anxious
ExcitedEnthusiastic, Eager, Thrilled

Encourage Active Listening

Encouraging active listening is an essential aspect of fostering healthy communication skills in children. Active listening techniques involve paying attention to the speaker, maintaining eye contact, and not interrupting.

Children who learn these skills are better equipped to understand others and are more likely to respond effectively to communication.

There are several benefits of active listening. First, it helps build empathy and understanding in children. By listening carefully to others, children can gain insight into their thoughts and feelings, which can help them build stronger relationships.

Second, active listening can reduce conflict by helping children understand each other’s perspectives.

Finally, active listening is an essential component of effective communication, which is a vital life skill that children will need throughout their lives.

Encouraging active listening in children is an excellent way to help them develop these skills and prepare them for success in the future.

Promote Positive Communication

Promoting positive communication in children is crucial for their social and emotional development, as it helps them build strong relationships and navigate conflicts in a healthy manner. When children are encouraged to communicate positively, they learn to express their feelings and thoughts in a respectful and constructive way, which builds trust and fosters relationships with others.

One effective way to promote positive communication is to use positive language. This means encouraging children to use words that build up others and avoid words that tear them down. For example, instead of saying “I hate you” when upset, children can be taught to say “I don’t like what you did”. This helps them express their feelings in a way that doesn’t attack the other person, which is essential for building and maintaining healthy relationships.

Additionally, parents and teachers can model positive communication by using positive language themselves and encouraging children to listen actively to others. By promoting positive communication, parents and teachers can help children learn how to communicate in a way that builds trust and fosters strong relationships with others.

Be Patient and Understanding

Exhibiting patience and understanding is a crucial aspect of effectively teaching children how to share. Practicing consistency in setting boundaries can help establish a routine for sharing and create a sense of structure for children. It is important to remember that children may not fully understand the concept of sharing and may struggle with it at times. As such, parents and caregivers must be patient with them and provide encouragement and positive reinforcement to help them develop this skill.

When children do not want to share, it is essential to understand their perspective and listen to their concerns. Taking the time to understand their feelings and needs can help parents and caregivers address any underlying issues.

Additionally, modeling sharing behavior and providing opportunities for children to practice sharing can help them develop this skill more effectively. Through patience, understanding, and consistent practice, children can learn to share and develop positive social skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sharing always necessary in every situation?

When considering the necessity of sharing in every situation, it is important to weigh the benefits of sharing against the need for autonomy.

Sharing can promote social cohesion, empathy, and generosity, but it may not always be the best option in cases where personal autonomy is important.

Situational sharing is a more nuanced approach that considers the specific context in which sharing is taking place.

By taking into account who is sharing, what is being shared, and why it is being shared, educators and parents can provide guidance and support that encourages children to develop a balanced approach to sharing that respects their own needs and the needs of others.

Ultimately, a balanced approach to sharing can help children develop important social skills while also fostering a sense of autonomy and self-efficacy.

How do you handle a child who refuses to share?

When a child refuses to share, effective communication and positive reinforcement can be utilized to address the behavior.

It is important to first understand the underlying reasons for the child’s refusal to share, which could include possessiveness, fear of losing control or ownership, or a lack of understanding of social norms.

Once identified, parents or caregivers can use positive reinforcement to encourage sharing behavior, such as praising the child when they share or modeling sharing behavior themselves.

Effective communication can also be used to explain the benefits of sharing and the consequences of not sharing, while also acknowledging the child’s feelings and perspective.

It is important to avoid punishment or shaming, as this can have negative effects on the child’s development and relationship with sharing.

By providing a supportive and understanding approach, parents or caregivers can help their child develop positive sharing habits.

At what age should parents start teaching their children about sharing?

The appropriate age for parents to start teaching their children about sharing varies depending on the child’s development. Generally, children begin to understand the concept of sharing around the age of two, but it may take several more years for them to fully grasp the idea and apply it consistently.

Teaching methods can include modeling sharing behavior, using positive reinforcement, and setting clear expectations and consequences for sharing. It is important to approach the topic with patience and understanding, as children may struggle with sharing due to their own developmental limitations or temperament.

By consistently reinforcing the importance of sharing and providing opportunities for practice, parents can help their children develop this important social skill.

Can forcing a child to share be counterproductive?

Balancing autonomy and empathy is a crucial aspect of teaching children to share without resorting to coercion or guilt tripping.

Forcing a child to share can lead to resentment and a lack of understanding about the importance of sharing.

Instead, alternative approaches such as collaborative play and turn taking can be explored.

Collaborative play encourages children to work together, communicate and problem solve, while turn taking teaches patience and the art of waiting their turn.

These approaches are effective as they allow children to develop empathy and autonomy while learning the value of sharing.

Therefore, it is important to strike a balance between autonomy and empathy to teach children how to share without resorting to forceful measures.

How can parents encourage their child to share without creating resentment towards others?

Encouraging generosity and building empathy in children is essential for them to learn how to share without creating resentment towards others.

Parents can achieve this by modeling sharing behavior themselves, which reinforces positive social norms and values.

Additionally, parents can teach children to recognize and respect other people’s feelings and needs, and encourage them to communicate their own feelings and needs in a respectful manner.

This can be achieved through activities that involve taking turns, sharing toys and resources, and working together towards common goals.

By using these strategies, parents can promote a positive and supportive environment that encourages children to develop a sense of generosity and empathy towards others.


In conclusion, teaching kids to share can be a challenging task for parents or caregivers. However, implementing effective strategies can help inculcate this crucial social skill in children.

Parents should model sharing behavior themselves and create a positive sharing environment at home. Teaching turn-taking, using positive reinforcement, building empathy skills, and using role-playing and storytelling are other effective strategies that can be employed.

Encouraging communication, being patient, and understanding is also essential while teaching kids to share. Parents should understand that sharing is a gradual process, and children may take some time to master it.

With consistent and patient efforts, children can learn the value of sharing and develop positive social skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. Ultimately, teaching kids to share is not only beneficial for their social and emotional development but also fosters a sense of community and mutual respect.

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Vivian Perry

Vivian Perry

Mother of 3 kids. Enjoy reading parenting books and studied child care degree. Vivian loves to learn and write about parenting tips and help her kids to grow positively with grit mindset.