”Share with your friends…”

”Give one to your friend…”

It’s the first thing we say to our children on playdates.

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Are we really designed to share, though?  It is the right action to take, getting our child to give one of their toys to a friend that visits. I mean, a friend doesn’t visit to be bossed around, nor left with the broken bits of toys. That, the essense of “the play” is sharing. Interacting. I’ve watched my youngest quench her own thirst in front of a friend. That’s why we are there isn’t it. “Does your friend want a drink?” “Are you sharing those lollies?”


”Gasp!” So my child is sitting there eating sweets without sharing. Thank god I’m monitoring this play date monstrosity.


Sharing comes easier for some. It’s certainly part of development. Playing interactively with another. Sharing their stuff. A group of dolls or LEGO. Board games.

But what if your child doesn’t want to share?

made the ultimate error of handing on the pram to my new baby.  My toddler could walk, holding my hand. But Nooo I had given her pram to another. It was her’s and she was right it had been. I just gave it away.

She cried and faught and I battled through. In hindsight I would have bought a pram for two.   I felt like an a**!ehole for having my oldest just give up her stuff. Thinking she wouldn’t feel anything about it.  She felt plenty! Plenty put out, plenty upset.

Rightfully so.

Same for play dates. What if the friend wants their best thing? Do they have to share that?

Do we share as adults?

Or are we really quite all about a ”that’s mine.” attitude?   If we had a bag of chips waiting for a train would we share? With a stranger?

Yet the first friends we’ve selected for our children are strangers.

“Play with your friends.”

‘What fricken friend?’ They’re thinking.

Is it fair that we expect so much of our children, when we are part of an adult world, so at war?

Or, less dramatic I imagine in my mind,   (the comical one I have ticking over a lot).  I’ve gone to a friend’s and sitting with their favourite vase in my lap, that I grabbed on way in.  Of course, it’s a silly thought.

And if I have a friend over for coffee and times up for the visit.  I go into my wardrobe and come out after they’ve left.  As my child has done when she got tired with a friend over, preschool age.

We do just put our children in the position of sharing favourite things. Being the super sharer. Being Switzerland.

Preparations for activities can be a good idea. 

Put away most favourite toys. If that’s an issue. Have limits. There’s nothing wrong with that.

No play in bedroom just in the lounge with sets of toys ready.

Or only play in bedroom and no touching things on desk.

My youngest took the liberty of writing a note.

No one to go in this drawer

Fair enough. Their “territory” has to be respected. I didn’t take it down.

People have: No Junk Mail   No Door Knockers    Wipe Your Feet    No Smoking   for their niche in the world. And how they want their environment to be respected. So I think our children’s little rules are reasonable for their niche in this house, in this world.

Knock before coming in.

I believe we expect so much from kids. When adults themselves aren’t necessarily setting a positive example. So when it comes to being The Sharebear we encourage our children to make sure we are being a


They’re only humans. Like us.

Do you make your kids share? Tell us in the comments below.

  • It important to show children to share. It creates a nicer environment and brings on friends.


  • I encourage my son to share his things but agree that we all have special things that we don’t want others to touch. Maybe setting boundaries about where they play or putting special things away when friends come over is a good idea.


  • Yes, I think it’s important to encourage sharing. But… to be fair about it. No, your child doesn’t have to share their best and favourite things. Put them away first. Set rules and guidelines. Let your child know they don’t have to share their favourite things but to encourage sharing other things. It’s more fun that way.


  • They have to share, otherwise they’ll be selfish brats. I make mine share, but of course there are certain things they don’t have to share. If a friend comes over, it’s their friend, so they have the right to their privacy. Also an extra special toy, just gets “hidden” until the other child goes home.


  • My kids were asked to share what they had with their siblings, but if they brought a friend over then I would ask what do they want to do and if they are going to play together. Usually it was to play a game like monopoly or scrabble so they were sharing their time.


  • Um yes, I expect my kids to share. I have also taught them however that there are boundaries to that. If a kid snatches a toy from them, that’s not ok. If they tease a kid by not letting them share their toy – also not ok. I firmly believe in treating others like you would like to be treated yourself!


  • My kids would always share their things and not because they were told to. They would hide their favourite things and would only play outside or in the loungeroom. Their bedroom was off limits and if someone ignored that rule my boys wouldn’t ask them around again. I’ve always shared what things I allowed. If I didn’t want to share anything, it would stay out of sight.


  • I think it is about common courtesy and respect.


  • I always teach my kids to share but I agree with other comments. I never thought of asking my son first which toys he may not like to share that day and putting them away first. That would make life and tantrums that day so much easier!


  • Interesting, made me think whether it is right or not, I guess we can encourage not sharing material things or food and drink rather sharing of friendship, time and love.


  • Before friends come over, I always ask my 3 year old which toys he wants to put away so that his friends don’t play with them.


  • I do encourage my kids to share, but don’t force them. We can give an example ourselves and teach them about the joy of generous giving & sharing.

    • Spot on! Parents/adults are the example.
      We are the best roles models for our children. :)


  • Sharing is of course wisely chosen and teaching sharing and learning to share is important for children.


  • I teach my kids that it’s good to share, but it’s also okay to have (polite) limits.


  • It’s respect for sure. Learning about respecting others, turn-taking and “respect works both ways”.


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