Clinical psychologist says teaching children to share is a bad idea

Clinical psychologist: Teaching children to share is a bad idea

For centuries, parents have been promoting sharing amongst their children, but this Clinical Psychologist says forcing your children to share might have unintended harmful effects! Here is how...

Children fighting for a toy
Children fighting for a toy /iStock

Sharing isn't always natural for children, and they often need parental guidance to learn to be considerate and kind. 

Parents and teachers often use phrases such as 'sharing is caring' to encourage their young ones to not be selfish. 

However, although the intentions might be good on the part of parents, a Clinical Psychologist, Laura Markham, PhD, says the danger comes when the giving isn't done naturally, but is forced. 

She told Very Well Family website that through forcing children to give, they learn that crying and throwing tantrums can get you what you want. 

This is because parents might force the one child to share his or her toy because the other one is crying for it. This sends the wrong message that instead of communicating and asking, the child can cry to get his/her way. 

READ: How to use screen time to your child's benefit

She says another wrong lesson that might come from forcing children to give is that their own needs come secondary to the needs of the other child.

Thirdly, the expert says it sends the wrong message that parents are in charge of who gets what and when they get it.

The Clinical Psychologist says parents should rater teach their children how to exercise patience. 

She says parents/guardians also need to learn to teach children how to work things out amongst themselves without interfering.

READ: Teaching your children to be savvy about money

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