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Helping my kid learn to share

toddlers sharing an apple

Key points:

  1. Sharing is a crucial developmental milestone for preschoolers’ social and emotional growth.
  2. Children need help to develop sharing skills, especially around 3 or 4 years old.
  3. Sharing fosters friendships, fairness, compromise, patience, and trust in children.
  4. Encourage sharing through practice, modeling, praise, games, and explaining its importance.

For preschoolers, learning to share is challenging and marks an important developmental moment in their social and emotional growth. During childhood, sharing is a capacity that kids need to have in order to play and learn, but they need your help in building the relationship and emotional intelligence skills required to do so.


Because sharing can be hard for children around 3 or 4 years old, it’s a skill that’s usually developed until a child starts going to childcare, kindergarten, or until they start having playmates. According to the Raising Children Network, kids need to learn to share in order to make and keep friendships, because sharing helps them understand fairness and compromise, as well as learning about tolerating frustration, being patient, and trusting others.

Here are some ideas on how you can encourage your preschooler to build relationship skills by learning to share:

  • Provide plenty of opportunities to practice sharing. Remember that kids learn by doing things in a manner of trial and error.
  • Model sharing and taking turns.
  • Help your child notice when someone is sharing.
  • Give lots of praise for progress.
  • Play games that involve turn-taking.
  • Explain what is sharing, talk about empathy, about how nice it is when someone shares with them, and how other kids like that as well.

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5 Responses

  1. Hi. I think teaching young kids to share helps them ti grow into compassionate kids. Many kids are self centered and are used to getting their way. Done parents do not want to take the time to teach their kids on how to behave to act. If a kid does not want to share then follow advice from the article do they can learn they sharing is caring.

    1. Hi Zee! Thank you for your comment. Absolutely, sharing is caring =) It’s also important to remember that sharing is a difficult skill for children to learn, and keep in mind their developmental stage to adjust our expectations.

  2. I think we should also point out that a child should not feel obligated to share or give up something if he does not want to, just because someone else does.

    1. Hi, thank you for your comment! Yes, sharing is a very hard skill to learn and it’s OK if there are some special items or toys that your little one doesn’t want to share.

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