Sharing is a vital trait in life and one that we all learn from the time we were kids. Parents are always doing their job of reminding us to be nice and share. This is especially seen in families with several children. Sharing is a must amongst siblings, or else fights and tantrums ensue\u2026 How we teach children to share is just as important. There are a few school of thoughts about sharing \u2014 some say we must teach children to share, and some say that we should not force children to share (see the third point here). Understanding The Underlying Importance of Sharing As A Life Skill These are some necessary life skills that we need our children to develop and they can be derived from simply learning the art of sharing: \tBy learning to share, children learn about making compromises and a sense of fairness \tBy sharing, they learn about mutual benefits - that if they are willing to give to others, they can also get some of what they want from others \tSharing also teaches them about taking turns, having patience and learning to negotiate \tIn the midst of learning to share, sometimes they encounter those who aren\u2019t willing, and they learn how to cope with disappointment and moving on Source: Raising Children Teaching Children of Different Ages About Sharing Toddlers Young toddlers won\u2019t understand the concept of sharing, as they believe that they are the centre of everything. This is especially true for an only child in the family. Everything seems to belong to them (including mummy and daddy). It\u2019s not too early to start teaching them at this stage. If there are no other children for your child to practise sharing with, you can step in as the one your child starts sharing with. Ask for a toy or snacks that your child is having, and teach him or her to share it with you. When playing with your child, deliberately take turns at having a toy so that your child understands he or she needs to wait. Initially, you can keep the waiting time short to start with. As your child gets the hang of it, hold on to the toy a little longer before giving your child a turn. Don\u2019t forget to thank your child for letting you have a turn, and praise him or her for being so generous in sharing the fun. Let your child know you are happy and show it. After all, children do like to see their parents happy. It makes them happy, too. Preschoolers By this time, they will have a grasp of this concept. When they start attending pre-school, teachers expect some form of sharing in all children. So by this time, it would be wise to have worked out whatever tantrums that come from difficulties of sharing, if any. Let your child understand what will be expected of them in school (by teachers) during their interactions with other children. Encourage fairness and kindness in them. This will also help them to make friends with others. Playdates and parties are common at this stage, and this is a good platform for them to practise sharing and taking turns at play during these get-togethers. For many, it\u2019s a big test of patience, but it\u2019s also a rewarding building block in enjoying happier friendships when they are happy sharers. School-Going Children At this stage, children usually display more patience and tolerance towards others, having experienced a few years of pre-school life. They are more comfortable with sharing and understand that it is the norm. However, at this stage, they may have a stronger sense of fairness and compromise. They are better able to weigh whether the exchanges they make are equal, and if it\u2019s not, may not be willing to share. Also, some children may be very generous and go beyond just sharing. Some are happy to give away their things to please friends. It happens a lot. Most times, parents are the unhappy lot here, because we probably spent a fair bit buying them things in which they happily give away. So to avoid this, you may want to talk to your child about how you feel about them giving away their belongings.\u00a0 Sharing is Caring There are many tips on how you can teach your child to share and the consequences of not sharing. There\u2019s no right or wrong way, and all these ideas should be tweaked to your own parenting style and family values. At the end of the day, what we want is to build their character to carry values that are important to have. Some children find it more difficult to share than others, but time and patience with them will work wonders. Just don\u2019t give up on a child who faces this difficulty. Work with them and try different angles to get through. What needs to go hand in hand with learning to share is also the teaching of respect for others. We don\u2019t want sharing to be done grudgingly and with a sense of expectations and entitlement. So, cultivate respect for people and their belongings as well when we teach our children about sharing.