“For Parents of Little Ones,” Friend, July 2016, inside back cover
Even before your child yanks a toy out of their sibling’s hands for the first time, you can begin teaching the concept of sharing. It’s normal for children to feel attached to things. Also, very young children don’t understand that others have feelings like their own. Empathy develops gradually in the preschool years.
Let your children start by sharing things they don’t care about too much. Then they can see how good sharing feels when they’re not too anxious about their toys.
Make a treat and invite your children to serve it to each other.
Allow your child to put away favorite toys before friends come to play. Anything left out for playtime is fair game. (And playtime is no fun for anyone if nothing is left out.)
Teach by sharing! Lend books to your friends. Share your snacks with your kids. Show how happy it makes you to care about people more than things. When your children are old enough to begin feeling generous too, they’ll know how to show it from the ways you’ve shared.