There are many stages in a child’s development. One of these stages is the concept of learning and understanding how to share and cooperate with others. This is an important aspect in the area of social and relationship building especially if you like your child to be a positive influence in society. The importance of adult supervision and involvement as a parent is needed at this stage.
The Early Stages
A child beings to learn the action of sharing and cooperation with simple gestures in infancy of giving something to an adult, with the adult returning the item to the infant. This development process later becomes more defined amongst toddlers between the ages of 18 – 24 months. They are now becoming more deliberate in the action of sharing and cooperating.
As toddlers, children begin to develop the concept of ownership of items. A child knows what he or she needs and wants, and with adult guidance learns how to share personal items with others. Interestingly, researchers found girls preferring to share and cooperate with friends. Boys on the other hand displayed no preference.
The Role Adults Play
Adults are able to set the stage for creating a learning environment for sharing and teaching children the action of sharing. Adults play an important role in teaching children to work together in cooperation, or as a team.
Take time to acknowledge a child you observe sharing and cooperating. Recognition enforces the positive nature of this behavior. Children also need to see adults performing the same actions that are being preached to them. An explanation of what it means to share and cooperate may contribute to the reinforcement of this action to children.
The Role of Toys
When children see that there is a huge choice of items available, they will be more inclined to share. To support this development in your child, the use of some toys can create the sharing and cooperation process and environment. These toys assist in making the concept of sharing and cooperating more meaningful for children.
Toys such as stacking blocks, building sets, kitchen sets and puzzles all encourage sharing with an adult or another child, as well as working as a team. Even buying sheets of large paper and some markers and crayons can be a great way for your child to enjoy creating a project with someone else.