I think when it comes to teaching your child lifeskills, sharing is one of the toughest. About 6 months ago, baby centre sent out an email about behaviorial challenges. After reading it, I heaved out a sigh of relief on finally coming across a milestone(if i may call it one) that he was slagging behind on. However, my relief was short lived, to say the least.
I’ve noticed Eesa becoming rather aggressive lately. He’s learnt how to use his hand (*grr*), esp on his cousin Beeloo, to show his aggression. This happens especially when it comes down to sharing! Eesa’s also learnt about whom he can bully and intimidate and whom he can’t.
Last night, we had a mini family dinner at our place and throughout the evening both of them were at it with each other. So once everyone left, I started doing some research last night and here’s just one of the many interesting articles I came about:
“It’s diffcult to teach sharing,” says Trish Nodolski, director of the Cedarville Nursery School here in Pottstown. “When you teach a child a letter, you may have to go over it a couple of times and they get it. When you’re teaching your child to share, you’ll be repeating yourself 50 times, and the child still won’t always share.”Not that sharing is a piece of cake for adults either. Paul Murphy, who teaches at Nonotuck Community School in Florence, Massachusetts, empathizes with children in his classroom who struggle with sharing. Even he can find himself getting frustrated if one of the kids wants to play with a block tower he’s building. It’s important for adults to model good sharing behavior, of course, but also to recognize that sometimes it’s simply hard to share. “It’s not that they don’t understand it,” he says. “It’s just that they are so into what they’re doing, they don’t want to share.”
Play groups are a natural place for children to practice sharing, say teachers, especially when parents join in. You needn’t be heavy-handed about it. Just encourage kids to ask for toys rather than grab them. And keep your expectations low. Character building is a lifelong process, so don’t stress out about not seeing results right away.
My little barbarians aren’t quite where they need to be yet, social skills-wise, but there are times when they manage to be downright civil with each other. “Hannah share with Lizzie,” Elizabeth recently demanded of her sister. “No,” Hannah said. So Elizabeth smacked her. “That’s not nice,” I told Elizabeth. “What do you say?” She thought for a second and then: “May I please hit Hannah?”
It’s a start.