Often, as adults, we feel like children need to share. Research shows that sharing is not intrinsic until children are 7. Instead of telling children they need to share, we should teach children the language to use (if they want
to share or if they do not want to share). Often when a child approaches another child and wants the toy, the child playing with it might ignore the child, scream, or walk away. Instead, that child has some options. If they are still playing with it, they can say, “I’m playing with it right now. Maybe later” or they can say, “Here you go” if they want to give the toy to the peer. If you have play dates scheduled, model the language as your child encounters a problem. If a child walks up and takes a toy your child is playing with it, look at your child’s face – are they wanting to keep it or are they okay giving the toy to their friend. Based on their facial expression, you can model the language ("I'm playing with it right now. Maybe later" or "Here you go"). You’ll see less screaming, fighting, and ignoring because your child has the language to use in this situation.
~Marena Mitchell, Speech-Language Pathologist
Daily tips, activities, and suggestions on how to naturally embed speech, language, play, fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive skills into your child's day, often using the materials already found in your home environment.
Marena Mitchell is a speech-language pathologist
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