Giving & Sharing don’t come easily. But with patience and empathy, we can help our child develop these critical skills.
Your child’s playroom is bursting with toys, yet whenever a friend comes over, your child wants the exact same toy the friend reaches for. A struggle ensues, and soon the fun and laughter are replaced by tears and tantrums.
Sound familiar? Rest assured — sharing is a concept beyond the grasp of most kids today.
As a parent, it’s quite likely that you’ve also experienced a moment when your child didn’t want to share.
It was a few years back and our extended family had gathered for a festive celebration at our home. All the kids normally get along quite well, but at home, it was a different matter altogether.
The kids bickered throughout the dinner, over toys, food – you name it, they fought over it. They seemed totally unable to share with each other.
Not just sharing with cousins or friends, but giving away old toys too was met with BIG resistance. I quickly realized that my little angel was bordering on spoiled.
I knew I was in trouble when my daughter strung together words like “No!” and “Mine!“. It was nearly impossible to give away any of her toys, even if she no longer played with them.
Every time I tried to pass on her toys for a good cause, it became a tug-of-war that almost always ended in tears on her end and frustration on mine.
It was time for her to learn the value of contentment and sharing.
Sharing, however, isn’t exactly something that came naturally to Miss P, as she was an Only-Child – it needed to be practiced.
Here are a few tips that worked for us.
Lead by Example and involve the kids
The holiday season is full of gift-giving and is a perfect opportunity for kids to observe – giving from parents and grandparents to kids and between friends and neighbors.
Miss P soon realized that there’s a big bonus in helping others: While it was clearly good for the person that she helped, it was also beneficial to her. She felt really good being appreciated, and over time it built confidence and self-worth in the right way, by showing her that her actions mattered.
Keep the dialogue open
There is no need to set aside a special time to talk about the importance and joy of giving. I volunteer at the local NGO, teaching art & craft to underprivileged kids and I started talking to Miss P about how that made me feel. By talking about to whom and how you give, you not only show your child the importance of giving itself, but you are also sharing the causes you are passionate about.
We exposed Miss P to different causes from an early age. By doing so, she learned that there are all kinds of people with different life experiences in this world and that there is always someone less fortunate that she could help.
Grasping this concept early will help your kids to grow up with a grateful attitude.
Did it work?
Slowly and steadily we saw a change, I saw it myself, right there in front of the Christmas tree at preschool, after my daughter decided — finally — to let go of her favorite toys to be gifted.
Miss P kept the presents under the tree. There was a huge, beaming smile on her face “Mumma, my toys will be perfect for kids who need them!” she said.
We have been doing a lot together over the years – and each time we get an opportunity to see, contribute or read about a particular drive or campaign that promotes giving, we get a dialogue started.
#Enfaclaus – Joy of Sharing activity
We recently saw a video about the amazing holiday CSR event organized by Enfagrow A+ in December – #EnfaClaus where kids could play Santa for a day by choosing their favorite toys and sharing them with other kids at an NGO. #ShareToysSpreadJoy.
Kids chose toys and storybooks that they wanted to gift to the kids of Aasara Bombay NGO. The toys were then collected from their homes by the Enfagrow Team. The gift also included a personalized note for the child (receiving it) about the toy.
It was a great occasion to make new friends and have a blast with everyone. The kids at the NGO also got Enfagrow A+ cans each – so that they spread not just cheer, but good nutrition around too!
How Early Can We Start?
Did you know? Kids start understanding the concept of sharing at the age of 3-4 years. Kids who share, understand the feelings of others which in turn leads to enhanced emotional quotient [ EQ]
But for this brain development to occur, the right nutrition is a crucial component, particularly, nutrients like Docosahexaenoic Acid, also known as DHA.
Supplements like Enfagrow A+ supplies kids’ bodies with the required amount of DHA and other nutrients like Iron, Zinc, Vitamin B6, B12, and Folate.
Enfagrow A+ isn’t your everyday health drink, it has been developed by Mead Johnson, a Research and Development Center with 30 years of global experience in DHA research.
With its high-quality DHA, Enfagrow A+ ensures proper Nutrition and Brain development completely. And with their new Joy of Sharing activity for Christmas, they’re leading by example too!
All kids are born with an innate sense of empathy and compassion. It is up to us as parents to encourage and nurture this.
How do you encourage your kids to share? Don’t forget to write to us with tips that have worked at your home.