Sharing. There are so many things in life that we share; our thoughts, clothes, food, an item and our time. This past month at The Children’s School was full of opportunities to share with others. Some of these opportunities included Friendship Day, birthday celebrations, jars of love and new lessons.
As a society, we tend to push our children to share before they even know what sharing means. Before the age of two and a half toddlers are developmentally self absorbed beings. They think that whatever they touch, are using, or had been using is “mine,” and they want your attention to be solely on them. It is not until around the age of two and a half that they can begin to understand the idea of sharing. Toddlers are not developmentally capable of understanding why they had to give up what they consider theirs when they were using it, even if they put it down, and they think that if it gets taken away from them that they will never see it again.
Just like we have to teach children how to eat with a fork, drink from a cup and how to put on clothes, it is also important that we teach them how to share. In class, we encourage the toddlers to ask their friends if they can work with them. The child using the material has the choice to decide if they are ready to share by responding yes or no. We then acknowledge and respect that child’s choice. We also encourage the toddlers to ask each other for hugs or to hold hands so they can choose to share their personal space and do not feel invaded. These simple skills, such as asking a question and respecting the answer, are the first steps for toddlers to begin to want to share with others.
It truly is a magical moment when you see a toddler let another friend build blocks with them, or look at a book with another friend and share the wonder of what they see on the pages.
March will be a busy month at the Children’s School. Literacy week is the 5th-9th and provides another opportunity to encourage sharing by bringing in books for the book exchange. Spring Break is March 12-16th. There will also be no school on Friday, March 23, it is a professional day. I hope everyone has an enjoyable and relaxing Spring Break.
– Ms. Dori and Ms. Sarka