Sharing: 14 Ways to Get Your Child to Play Fair

5. Know yourself. Sandy, whose toddler doesn't object when a toy is grabbed out of her hand, can't tolerate her daughter's timidity, so she jumps in. "Excuse me, Jenny is playing with that toy," she says, as she thinks, "Oh, poor Jenny." Then she insists that the other child return the toy. One day it occurred to Sandy that it didn't bother Jenny when someone took a toy out of her hand. She realized that she was reacting to her own feelings about the situation and ignoring her daughter's reactions. After this epiphany, she stopped stepping in on her daughter's behalf. What's important is to stop projecting our own emotions onto a situation. Ask yourself, "Who owns the problem?"

Next Page: Learn how to use distraction, acknowledge generosity and more

6. Use distraction. You can turn your child's mood around by getting her involved in something different. Not every toy conflict needs to become a platform for teaching your child about sharing.

7. Don't add fuel to the fire. Jack wants his sister's coloring book, which she has no intention of sharing. Is it essential that the kids take turns? No, what's essential is this: Don't increase sibling rivalry by putting yourself between the kids.

8. Understand sibling dynamics. A youngster may be generous with friends but unwilling to share with a sibling because he's busy keeping score. "You wouldn't let me look at your loot bag -- so why should I give you a piece of gum?" A scorecard mentality leads to resentment, bitterness and grudges. Break this habit by helping your kids see the things they do for each other, instead of obsessing about the things they don't. A simple comment like, "That was nice of your brother to lend you his skates," is sometimes all that's needed. One family I know encourages their kids to share the limelight. Every Sunday night, they have a family concert; one child plays the piano, another tells jokes, and the youngest reads to show off her new skills.

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