their zeal to do the right
thing, push their children into sharing before they're
developmentally ready. If we wait a few years, respecting their
right to fully own, we'll often be surprised at how giving our
children can be.
At the same time that we are waiting for our children to grow
into sharing, there are several things we can do to help prepare
the way. We can begin to show our children the joy of giving.
For example, as Daddy's birthday is approaching, I can say, "Oh,
I'm really happy right now thinking about how pleased and
excited Daddy will be when he sees his new hammer." We can
emphasize how good the other person is feeling, or will feel,
when we give. We can help them to notice the happiness that is
there when we give to others.
There are many opportunities throughout the day, every day,
to encourage our children when they are sharing and giving.
Noticing positive behavior is a great way to encourage more of
Also, our children will see when we give to others. When we
bring cookies to a friend or relative, we can let our kids come
along with us and say, "I feel happy and good inside knowing
Sarah will enjoy these." Our children learn by watching us. We
can ask ourselves, "Am I caring and giving?" If not, we might
want to think about ways in which we can increase our giving.
This positive role modeling is an incredible and powerful answer
to the question of how to help our kids learn to share with