Frustrated and embarrassed that your toddler doesn’t like to share? You are not alone mama. This toddler behavior is very common and almost every toddler goes through this stage. So just breathed and know that you will get through this. I will share with you super helpful toddler sharing activities to make it easier for you to teach your toddler how to share!
I’m a mama of three kids who are older now (ages, 12 and 8 boy/girl twins). I remember when they were toddlers and did not want to share their toys their siblings or their cousins. So, the crying and the “no” came about. As a mom is hard to not feel frustrated or wondering “what did I do wrong as a mom?”. But I assure you that is part of toddlerhood.
I learned so many great tips to handle sharing with toddlers that I know these will change your life. It did to me and my kids learned to share in an easy and fun way. So if you want to help your younger children with sharing, keep an opened mind, know that you are not doing anything wrong as a mom and get ready to help toddler learn to share in a gentle parenting way!
Why is it hard for toddlers to share?
“Toddlers have not yet developed empathy and cannot see things from another child’s perspective” (source). So this behavior is normal in toddlers. Toddler will master the art of sharing between the ages of 2 to 4. That’s why is so important that as parents we teach our toddlers the importance of sharing at an early age.
How do I encourage my 2 year old to share?
The best tips I will share with you is to encourage your two year old toddler who is having a hard time sharing to take turns with a toy. Or simply redirect your toddler to a different activity or toy.
Watch my new video on how to teach your toddler to share:
7 clever ways to teach toddler to share without the tantrums
1.Acknowledge toddler feelings
It is very important to start by acknowledging your child’s feelings about not sharing. Help them feel safe with you and see that you understand them. This will help your child calm down if he is having a tantrum or crying because he doesn’t want to share. Acknowledging your toddler’s feeling about sharing will also make him feel heard. You can say something like “I totally understand why you wouldn’t want to share your cool and fun toy”.
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2.Ask them “why” they don’t want to share
It’s always good when teaching your toddler to share to ask why they do not want to share. This will give you a good reason as to why your child is acting the way that he is. Knowing the reasons why your toddler doesn’t want to share will help you give a reason as to why is fun to share their toys or anything of that matter. You never know if someone was mean to your toddler or another child didn’t want to share his toys and so that may explain the reason as to why sharing is hard for your toddler to do.
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If you are finding it difficult to handle your child’s not sharing outbursts, then is a great idea to redirect your toddler in doing something else. Or Redirect him to play with a different toy. This will help alleviate the situation because now your child is focused on different activity or toy.
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4.Share an encouraging story
I loved sharing stories about sharing when my kids were toddlers and didn’t want to share their things. I would share something like “Imagine if you go to your friends house and he has a really cool toy that you want to play with. You go up to him and he shares with you his toy. You both are having so much fun, Isn’t sharing amazing and nice?” Something like that that will encourage your toddler to want to share his things because it feels good to share.
4.Help toddler to share a different toy
If your child has a strong bond with a favorite toy and it’s making it hard for him to share it. Then another best option to help your toddler learn to share is by teaming up together and deicing what toys your child would love to share. You are not forcing him, you are both a team making important decisions together. Make it fun as well and say how proud you are of him to share. It keeps him motivated to share more next time.
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Have you asked your toddler questions around sharing? You may do this when your toddler ha calm down from a tantrum or crying. You may ask your child these toddler sharing questions:
- How will you feel if your friends didn’t share with you? (sad, angry,)
- How will you feel if your friends shared with you? (happy, excited)
- How does it feel when your friends do not share with you?
6.Pretend you do not want to share
One way that i would show my kids that not sharing doesn’t feel good to others is by pretending myself that i don’t want to share my things with them. For example, if I’m eating an icecream and they ask to get some, I would say “no I do not want to share my ice cream”. This will first hand show your child that when someone doesn’t want to share it doesn’t feel good. So Of course i would then share my ice cream with them but i would also share a lesson about why sharing is nice and how not sharing is not very nice.
7.Make sharing fun
One great way to teach your 2 year old toddler to share is to make it fun by bringing some educational books about sharing. I loved to read my kids books when they were toddlers and now every night before bedtime they read. So, not only are you helping your toddler see why sharing is important and fun, but you are also encouraging the habit of reading. Two in one! There are also a lot of youtube videos on learning how to share which is another fun way to help your toddler to share.
I hope you found these tips helpful mama. Raising a toddler is not for the faint of heart but I know you got this!
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