Monday, October 18, 2010

Sign of the Week: Share

Sharing is not exactly the easiest concept to teach young children. I'd say about 99.99% of the time if I hear one of my children crying and I inquire as to why it's because the other one isn't sharing.

It's not that they're being selfish - they're just acting their age. Sharing is a skill they'll develop over several years. In the meantime, struggles over toys will be common. It's no fun to watch your child grab a toy and shout "Mine!" But if he's playing with other toddlers, he/she won't be the only one doing it.

Help your child learn to share by being an example yourself. Offer him a bite of your meal or a chance to assist in the fun of decorating a cake. As you do, use the word and the sign for "share" to describe your behavior. ("I'm eating a really good sandwich, and I'd love to share it with you. Would you like some?") When your toddler attempts to share, praise his efforts. Little by little, he'll drink in the positive reinforcement and feel good about repeating those actions that seem to make you so happy. Before long, he'll start sharing because it comes naturally.

Happy Signing!