Parenting ColumnAfter spending time with my friends and their child, I’ve noticed that my daughter tends to mimic some of their child’s behaviours, like an unwillingness to share toys. How can I curb this behaviour?

This is a common issue that we see with a lot of kids! Children do not fully start to understand how to share until around the age of 4, but even before then it’s great to start modelling and practicing.

At home, practice sharing toys with your daughter, praising her positive behaviour when you see it. For example, if she hits either you or another child when they want a toy, say something to her such as, “No, honey, we don’t hit. It hurts when you do that. Be gentle, this is how we ask for the toy gently,” and then demonstrate asking for the toy and handing it over.

At your friend’s house, you can try sitting down and playing with the children, modelling for them how to share toys. Children learn by watching and observing other children and adults, so by modelling positive behaviour, you are teaching them how to respond in an appropriate manner. Your friend may even learn from this approach and try it on his or her own later.

— Amanda, CTH Program Coordinator

Do you have parenting questions for our staff? Send them to us at jmelnychuk@closertohome.com and you may be featured in our next newsletter!