If you are a parent yourself then you will no doubt know how hard it can be to get children to share. Children are still developing emotionally and, as such, things we take for granted as adults can seem quite massive to a child.
For example, the concept of sharing can be just one of a number of problems that parents can have with their gets in getting them to open up a little and be nicer to others.
I found that the easiest way to get my kids to open up and share more often was to be quite open about why they should share. Education is always the most powerful tool and teaching toddlers to share is, undoubtedly, the best way to keep their lives enhancing through that medium.
To begin with I sat my children down and spoke to them about why sharing matters. I explained that we were very privileged to come from where we do and have the luxuries we do have in our lives. I made it clear to my children that the things we have in our lives are very rare, and not every child has that ability to have these things together.
So, by making them aware of how lucky they are, it made my children more likely to share in the future. That little bit of education about privilege made them more likely to share with others. The proof came when my oldest was seen in school giving his snack and his apple to one of the other kids. It turned out that this other kid’ family couldn’t afford to even give him a lunch, or lunch money.
He was hurting with cramps from hunger, and my son just couldn’t let it lie. He was so proud when he informed of me of this, and so was I. The fact that at a young age my children were beginning to see the power of sharing was, to me, incredible.
The Power of Empathy
That being said, the cherry on top for me was the fact that my children now understood empathy. I told them that they should share with others because the power of being able to give to others what they do not have is one of the most powerful tools on the planet.
Being able to directly affect the life of someone else because you can give them what they lack is a huge thing for me. I made sure that my children could understand and appreciate this, and they took that forward with them in the future.
We spoke at length about how important it was to be able to use empathy, and why sharing would help them use that empathy. Basically, I wanted my children to realize that although the life we have at home is nothing special, it’s special to most of the world.
Whilst we are nothing like rich or anything of the sort, we can eat and we have gadgets – sharing that wealth today means better children tomorrow.