Turn-Taking vs Sharing

Turn-Taking vs Sharing

Most adults believe that if their child doesn’t share, they will become selfish and entitled and be a gigantic brat. Many adults also believe that others will view them as ‘bad parents’ for having a child that doesn’t share easily or well. 

It is also likely that upon reflection, you came to realise that you don’t share your belongings as an adult.

For example: Imagine you are at work in the middle of typing up a report on the computer. Your boss comes in and tells you to share your computer with a coworker. You would likely feel frustrated at having to stop doing what you are doing immediately, annoyed that you were halfway through something, unsure how long the other person would be on the computer etc. What you do as an adult is turn-taking, which is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Why I don’t believe children should share 

  • It is not developmentally appropriate
  • They do not have a concept of time, so letting the other person share their things for a ‘little while’ feels like forever
  • They cannot predict that they will get it back, and this causes distress and increases possessiveness 
  • Telling your child to give the other child their toy so the other child will stop whinging is only promoting the ‘whinging’ behaviour in the other child and rewarding it
  • The child/ren are not learning social skills, patience or conflict resolution when an adult steps in and demands they share.

Let’s look at how to facilitate turn-taking. 

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