How to Teach Kids About Sharing

How to Teach Kids About Sharing

Teaching kids to share is an important aspect of their social development. Sharing helps children build friendships, learn empathy, and develop a sense of cooperation. Here are some effective strategies to teach kids about sharing:

1. Model Sharing Behavior

Lead by Example

  • Demonstrate Sharing: Show your child how you share with others. For example, share your food, toys, or other items with family members.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Praise and acknowledge your own and others’ acts of sharing in front of your child.

Family Practice

  • Family Activities: Engage in family activities that involve sharing, such as playing board games or sharing snacks.
  • Daily Routines: Incorporate sharing into daily routines, like taking turns using the TV remote or sharing household chores.

2. Create Opportunities for Sharing

Playdates and Group Activities

  • Organized Playdates: Arrange playdates with peers where children can practice sharing toys and taking turns.
  • Group Games: Encourage group games and activities that require cooperation and sharing.

Shared Spaces

  • Common Areas: Create common play areas with shared toys and materials to encourage children to share naturally.
  • Community Events: Participate in community events or classes where sharing is a part of the activity, such as library story times or sports teams.

3. Teach Through Stories and Role-Playing

Books and Stories

  • Reading Time: Read books that highlight themes of sharing and cooperation. Discuss the characters’ actions and the outcomes.
  • Storytelling: Create your own stories where characters learn the value of sharing.


  • Act Out Scenarios: Use role-playing to act out different scenarios where sharing is important. Use toys or puppets to make it engaging.
  • Discuss Outcomes: After role-playing, discuss how the characters felt and what they learned from sharing.

4. Use Positive Reinforcement

Praise and Encouragement

  • Specific Praise: Offer specific praise when your child shares. For example, “I’m so proud of you for sharing your toys with your friend.”
  • Encouragement: Encourage sharing by reminding your child of past positive experiences related to sharing.

Reward Systems

  • Sticker Charts: Use sticker charts or other reward systems to reinforce sharing behavior. Each time your child shares, they earn a sticker or small reward.
  • Verbal Acknowledgment: Regularly acknowledge and thank your child for sharing, reinforcing the behavior.

5. Teach Empathy

Understanding Feelings

  • Discuss Emotions: Help your child understand how sharing makes others feel. For example, “When you share your toy, it makes your friend happy.”
  • Empathy Exercises: Engage in exercises that teach empathy, such as asking your child how they would feel in different situations.

Encouraging Kindness

  • Acts of Kindness: Encourage small acts of kindness that involve sharing, like sharing a snack or lending a helping hand.
  • Positive Stories: Share stories of kindness and generosity, highlighting the positive effects of sharing on others.

6. Set Clear Expectations and Rules

Explain the Importance

  • Importance of Sharing: Explain why sharing is important and how it helps build friendships and create a happy environment.
  • House Rules: Set clear rules about sharing within your household and discuss them with your child.

Consistent Reminders

  • Gentle Reminders: Give gentle reminders about sharing before playdates or group activities.
  • Consistency: Be consistent in your expectations and follow through with praise or gentle correction when needed.

7. Be Patient and Understanding

Developmental Stages

  • Age-Appropriate Expectations: Understand that younger children may find sharing challenging due to their developmental stage.
  • Patience: Be patient and provide ongoing support and encouragement as your child learns to share.

Support and Guidance

  • Guided Practice: Offer guidance and support during sharing situations, helping your child navigate any challenges.
  • Conflict Resolution: Teach conflict resolution skills to help your child handle disputes over sharing.


Teaching kids about sharing involves modeling positive behavior, creating opportunities for practice, using positive reinforcement, and fostering empathy. By setting clear expectations, being patient, and offering ongoing support, you can help your child develop the important social skill of sharing. Remember, learning to share is a gradual process, and with your guidance, your child will become more comfortable and confident in sharing with others.

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