Sharing is a fascinating topic. In social settings, adults expect children to be generous and aware of the needs of the children they’re interacting with. What most adults don’t realize is that sharing is an adult virtue. Children are not born with the instinct to share; they need time and practice to learn this concept.
Teach Your Kindergartner Why Sharing is Caring
As a parent, you may wonder how kindergartners are ever taught to share with each other. You many even envision hectic interactions for favorite toys and stressed teachers attempting to dole out ‘fair’ rules for the use of popular items. This vision is not the case in the Montessori classroom. Conflicts over popular or favorite items are one of the least common occurrences between kindergartners. The philosophy of sharing goes back to the words of Dr. Montessori, who originally founded the Montessori classroom structure.
Dr. Montessori’s Belief
Dr. Montessori was an Italian physician and educator. She is known for the philosophy that an educational approach should be based on scientific observations of children from their birth to adulthood. She emphasized independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child be implemented within the classroom.
During play time within the classroom, Dr. Montessori believed children engaged in active and productive activities would lose their possessiveness. She firmly believed they would turn their energy towards productive development and not focus on their ‘wants.’
Setting limits helps to remind children that if another child is using an item, it is theirs until they no longer want it. Choices work great to help a child wait for their turn. Offering an alternative item or the option to sit and wait until the item is available will show the child they cannot always have what they want but have to share its time with others.
Sharing Emerges With Age
Sharing cannot be taught – it has to be learned through experience and age. You cannot force your child to talk, and you won’t be able to make them spontaneously happy with sharing. Some parents resort to threatening their child with a negative action if they don’t share a toy. This threat will lead to resentment in your child and give them a feeling they don’t have control over their own belongings. As your child gets older, it will be an intrinsic desire for them to care about others and want to share with them.
Montessori Can Show Your Child How to Share and Care
In the Montessori classroom environment, your child will learn how to share and care through an atmosphere of sharing. Your child will be exposed to these values even without being aware they are learning them. Through grace and courtesy lessons, your child will learn how to wait their turn, serve snacks to others, ask for help, and much more. Your child will learn about choices and their ability to create actions. These lessons will start your child on a path of being more caring and wanting to share.
At Montessori Childrens Center in Fremont, the teachers and staff incorporate sharing into the everyday curriculum. Through play based and hands-on learning, kindergartners are able to interact with and learn from older students. Contact our school today to schedule a tour and see Montessori education firsthand.