Shar­ing is CAR­ING

3

Your Baby & Toddler - - YOUR TODDLER -

Give it here! No, that’s mine! But he can’t have it! Sound familiar? That’s be­cause when it comes to shar­ing, tod­dlers find it quite dif­fi­cult. This is a nor­mal part of your tod­dler’s de­vel­op­men­tal process. When he re­fuses to share his favourite toy, he isn’t re­ally be­ing self­ish – he’s just act­ing his age. Know­ing and un­der­stand­ing this is the first step in help­ing your child grow up to be a gen­er­ous per­son.

By their very na­tures, tod­dlers are ego­cen­tric. This means that they as­sume ev­ery­one else sees, hears and feels things ex­actly as they do – that they are pretty much the cen­tre of the uni­verse. To be able to share, chil­dren need to have em­pa­thy, which is the abil­ity to see things from an­other’s point of view. In or­der to do this, your child has to un­der­stand that you are a dif­fer­ent per­son to him, with dif­fer­ent needs and emo­tions. Chil­dren are sel­dom ca­pa­ble of true em­pa­thy un­til the age of six years. How­ever, shar­ing is a learned ac­tiv­ity and mas­ter­ing it takes time, so in­tro­duce your child to the value of shar­ing now and then build on this as he gets older.

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