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Selfish Child: How to Teach Him to Share?

Questioner

R (26_male_Pakistan)

Reply Date

Oct 20, 2018

Question

The son of my dad’s friend does not like sharing toys with other people and never listens to anyone. Sometimes, you feel you want to hit him, but I try not to. Please help me.

Counselor

Answer


In this counseling answer:

  • Plant in your child the idea of sharing.
  • Explain to your child why sharing is important.
  • Create a sharing environment. It is always a good idea to play give-and-take games with your child. Create games or take turns picking a book for reading. These kinds of activities give the child an opportunity to be successful at it.
  • When you share your food or cookies with your child, point it out to him.
  • Don’t forget to praise him for any sharing he does.

As-Salamu `Alaykum brother,

Thank you for writing to us.

What do you expect from a 6-year-old boy with a disturbed family environment as you describe in the details? The problems you mentioned in the question could be the only way for this child to express his inner disturbance that is related to his parents’ disturbed relationship.

First, sharing is a social concept that every child must eventually learn. Sharing toys with others is really hard for children at this age, especially for children in a disturbed family. It seems that no one teaches these children the sharing concept.

Realize that at this very young age children are not developmentally ready to share. This is the age when children start appreciating and developing a liking towards certain objects, and they also understand that it is far too easy to have these objects taken away from them. There are certain things that children won’t be willing to share. If a child has a special toy that has a great deal of meaning to him or her, you shouldn’t expect the child to share that toy.

As parents and adults, we expect children to share. But we have to be aware that children don’t always like to share and perhaps don’t know how to share. Be patient and discuss the issue with his parents. Actually, the child needs to learn the process of sharing.

Second, sharing is a new concept for him. His parents need to teach him that sharing is a nice thing to do and be themselves examples of effective sharing. Children need experiences that give them opportunities to share.


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Try, brother, to convey these ideas to his parents:

-Plant in your child the idea of sharing.

-Explain to your child why sharing is important.

-Create a sharing environment. It is always a good idea to play give-and-take games with your child. Create games or take turns picking a book for reading. These kinds of activities give the child an opportunity to be successful at it.

-When you share your food or cookies with your child, point it out to him.

-Don’t forget to praise him for any sharing he does.

-Help your child and his friends to find the space to play both individually and cooperatively.

-If the child doesn’t want to share toys yet, don’t punish or criticize him.

-When the child has a friend visiting him, make sure that you have a variety of toys to choose from.

By the time sharing should become much easier, in sha’ Allah.

Third, if the parents neglect your comments, try to help this child by yourself. Start to strengthen the relationship with him and try to help him overcome his problems.

Finally, be patient with this child and remember that hitting is not the way to teach him how to share and how to learn any new experience in his life. Hitting will hurt his parents also.

May Allah Most High reward you the best reward in this world and the Hereafter.

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.




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