Every child goes through a phase when they simply don’t want to share anything with anyone, especially to other kids. When someone else tries to play with their toy or eat their snack, they hold tight to their belongings even if they were not interested in that toy or snack a few seconds ago.

Learning the importance of sharing brings about harmonious play time and a strong bond among kids. Follow these 5 effective tips to teach your child to share:

Teach the concept of taking turns

Ideally, as soon as your child learns to grasp, one important thing to teach him is the concept of taking turns. While playing, teach sharing by passing a toy or an object back and forth and saying “your turn” and “Mommy’s turn”. According to experts, learning to take turns is the first step in sharing.

Be a role model

Children tend to mimic what they see and observe around them. As much as you can, be a role model and show the importance of sharing to your toddler. For example, you’re eating a snack. Portion it into two and tell your child, “Mommy is sharing her snack with Daddy, do you want to share yours with Daddy, too?”

Praise actions of sharing in simple day-to-day activities

Toddlers need to be able to understand that the act of sharing is a good thing, and they need to be reminded from time to time. If they shared something with anyone (even without them knowing it), commend them for the action. If he’s sitting on the couch watching TV, ask him “Can Mommy come sit with you?” If he says yes, praise him and say “Thanks for sharing the couch with me!”

Set a system for taking turns with toys

One thing you can try during play dates (make sure the other parents are on board) is to set a timer for how long each child can play with a toy. When the timer rings, it’s time for your little one to give the toy to his playmate. When the timer rings again, your child gets the toy back. This helps him understand that when he lets other kids play with his toys, he’s going to get it back.

Eventually, your child will understand the concept. Follow these effective tips to teach your child to share – it’s an important foundation of good behavior for when he grows up!