Sharing is a tricky little beast with children from birth to three. It happens to be a very mature capacity that adults struggle with! Adults actually don’t share the way we ask children to. Sharing is hard for a child to understand when it’s not available that often in their life for imitation. As much as possible, us the language and actions of sharing with your child, such as: There’s one for both of us! I’d like you to have this. We have more than enough for everyone. I can tell you want this. Here you go.

Try not to let other children or parents say, “let’s share” when what they really mean “give it to me.” That’s not sharing.

I usually say to the children, “if you wait you will get it,” or “you may ask for it,” or “she isn’t finished yet – soon she will be.” It’s important that children are allowed to play with their toys without interruption. At the same time, some children just don’t mind giving things up. It’s worth asking. I find it interesting to observe the children giving, receiving, taking and losing and noticing how they each respond so differently.

About the Author

Kimberley Lewis

Kimberley is a birth-to-three teacher, consultant and writer. She received her master's degree in Waldorf Early Childhood Education from Antioch University New England in Keene, NH. She is a RIE® Associate and avid Pikler student. She has been teaching nursery, preschool, kindergarten and parent-child classes in Waldorf schools since 2007.

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