Sharing: 14 Ways to Get Your Child to Play Fair

9. Work on relationships. Sometimes the problem lies in the relationship. Are you likely to share with someone you're angry with? Would you give up something you cherish to someone whom you resent? Unlikely. Try to resolve some of the deeper issues present in your child's reactions.

10. Acknowledge generosity. When I came down for breakfast one morning, I found my son Max preparing treats for all of his friends at school. When I saw what he was doing, I almost blurted out, "I need to feed your whole class?" I caught myself, and instead of criticizing him, I praised him for being a good friend.

Sure, it's embarrassing when kids are inconsiderate or greedy, but when you have confidence in your child's basic goodwill, you're less apt to feel angry or frustrated and better able to respond to conflicts with gentle understanding.

From the book The Parent's Problem Solver (Three Rivers Press, 2002) by Cathryn Tobin, M.D.

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