For many young kids, the idea of sharing is often misunderstood and can even be distressing at first. Kids don’t understand that sharing with friends, family, or other children doesn’t mean that they’re losing something they love forever. In fact, there’s plenty to go around!
Parents can expect selective sharing with young children. For example, a child might refuse to share an item that they have an emotional attachment to.
Although teaching your child to share with their friends, siblings, and classmates can be trying sometimes, it is an essential part of their early childhood education and development. You can begin to encourage sharing the same toy, board game, or space by modeling these actions for a child as you play together. When your child sees you sharing things with others, they will begin to understand the value in sharing.
Sharing is often a child’s first introduction to the concept of empathy and respect for others. For example, taking turns sharing certain toys with other kids will help your child understand that their actions directly affect others’ feelings. This also helps them realize that honoring others’ wishes when they have the opportunity to is just as important as fulfilling their own needs — a major milestone in your children’s development.
Explaining how to share through books will help put things into perspective for your child in a fun, relatable way. It also builds a solid foundation for their developing literacy skills and is the perfect opportunity to bond.
For its 100th anniversary, Scholastic spoke with experts to identify a set of books, articles, and parenting tips that make starting a conversation with your child about sharing easy and informative. These resources are part of a broader initiative, called the Scholastic Bookshelf, created for Instagram to raise awareness around contemporary issues affecting children today.
Teaching Children How to Share With Books
In the sweet book Will Bear Share? by Hilary Leung, kids from ages 2-5 will love meeting Bear, who has so much to give, including books, toys, and even sweet treats, like an ice cream cone.
But with everything good that she has, will Bear choose to share them with her friends giraffe, frog, sheep, alligator, and ladybug? Toddlers and preschoolers will have a good laugh learning how Bear chooses to share her favorite things with friends.
Meanwhile, older readers will get a kick out of the adorable antics of an unlikely duo in Unicorn and Yeti: Friends Rock. Part of Scholastic’s Acorn line of beginner chapter books, this story follows Unicorn and Yeti as they take turns playing on a swing, sharing their favorite foods, and even taking home a shiny rock they found together.
Each title gives sweet examples of friends sharing through colorful, eye-catching illustrations and easy-to-understand dialogue that your child will love.