We don’t enforce sharing, but we do encourage taking turns. However, if you give one of the girls two of something, she will immediately seek out her sister to give her one. How did this happen? It’s something we’ve fostered over time.
-Asking. If one of the girls asked me for something, say a snack, I would give her one and then give her another a moment later and ask her to give that one to her sister, using “please” and ‘thank you,’ of course.
-Asking–over time. Progression, I would hand just one item, ask her to give it to her sister and then provide her with another for herself after she returned. Now when I give them two of something, they just automatically give one to their sister.
-Acknowledging. Remember, saying thank you isn’t praising–it’s manners. When someone has, say, two books and offers one to their sister, we say thank you, acknowledging what they did was kind. Do I do this all the time, no, because it happens more than I observe. I also want them to do acts of kindness without being praised, which will come in time.
I mentioned that we do encourage taking turns. This began with slides, as in playground slides. After one child would go down we would say it’s their sister’s turn and then the sister, who was already at the top and ready to slide, would go. This was a gentle way to encourage patience and taking turns since the other would have to climb to slide anyways. Over time and growth they really started to understand and realize that when their sister took a turn, they weren’t missing out. They too would get a turn.
With this understanding, taking turns has expanded. If one sister is being tossed in the air, after some time she will say, “sissy’s turn.” This doesn’t mean she wants to stop. It’s just that she’s had some fun and now it’s time for her sister to have fun too–she knows it will be her turn again.
Do you encourage sharing or taking turns in your home?