First week back, but what about the sharing?
We have had an absolutely awesome first week back and most of the worrying was uncalled for.
To see all our little people’s faces light up when they saw their favourite Jolly Tots puppets and doll was a delight within itself. They all zoomed around the room, looking for their favourite resources to re engage with or at the least to make sure they were where they had left them, all those weeks ago.
What however you cannot get away from, is that most of the children have been in lockdown for 10 weeks without another child in sight, apart from possibly their own sibling. Most went on beautiful walks and each and every parent went over all odds to juggle work, rest and play. This often resulted in mess, mess and more mess! The pictures popped up from all the parents showing their incredible crafty skills and demonstrated the fear of messy play had at last subsided.
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THEY RETURNED TO JOLLY TOTS?
We pre-empted a bit of a sharing problem, however with the non use of sand, mud and anything mucky that keeps them engaged for a reasonable amount of time, is a bit like building a house without bricks and motar. So we got to work on reintroducing the concept of sharing. I use to love the term, “Sharing is caring”, but along with many other things that I believed in, it is now a taboo saying and one we are no longer allowed to use!
WHAT CAN I PUT IN PLACE TO SUPPORT SHARING
Firstly not wanting to share is very normal. I hate sharing things that I want for myself!!! At around 3years old the experts suggest that children begin to get the concept of sharing. So with a group of 21 month olds approximately, where do you begin?
Sharing at this age is starting to form. Children love praise and will soon learn that by sharing they receive praise. Equally however they don’t realise that soon it will be their turn, so snatching a toy is the only way to get it.
Making games fun will certainly assist you. Putting together a puzzle with another child, passing an object around during circle time, sharing a watering can to water the plants, finding socks that match, looking for spoons and forks to lay the table, the list is endless, but as long as it’s fun your child will want to partake. Without realizing it, sharing becomes fun.
WHAT ABOUT DISCIPLING NON SHARERS
It is really difficult to watch your child take something off another child and particularly so if the other parent is watching. There is almost an expectation to reprimand them, however doing that is not helpful. Once a child is told off they become defensive and then the system for learning new skills shuts down. Children at this age are ego centric which basically means, me, I or myself, which suggests that there is no room for anyone else. If your child is in a situation whereby they get into an argument with another child, try and remove them from the scene until they are calmer. Help your child as they develop to use their words. Try not to let them have comforters in front of other people that could potentially make them sad if it was taken from them. Teach your child how to problem solve by sharing. Children of this age are able to understand your turn, my turn as long as it is introduced with positive reinforcement and praise. Sometimes, you may need an egg timer to allow a set amount of time for each child. I find this invaluable and the child loves to set it themselves.
Most importantly share constantly with your child and encourage them to share with you, so if they have a packet of chocolate, encourage them to share it and take one even if you do not want it.
For further information on sharing issues contact Jollytots2@aol.com