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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 12/24/08

How can I teach my child to share?

One of the first few words a child utters after “mommy” and “daddy” is “mine”. Toddlers are naturally very possessive over their belongings. Although it can be frustrating at times to watch a child refuse to share an item, it is normal and generally grown out of. Pre-school aged children who refuse to share usually do so because they lack a sense of compassion for others. Using role-playing scenarios, parents and educators can allow the child to understand the feelings of other children. Children are not intentionally malicious, and most will stop the selfish behavior when they realize that it is hurting others.

In the Jewish Community

Children in the Jewish community are taught about good character traits from a very young age. Although some parents may interpret their child’s refusal to share as a rejection of his education and a serious flaw of character, it is important to remember that it is quite normal for young children to be possessive.

Use the following links to learn how to teach your children to share. Find out when a refusal to share is a problem and learn how to respond when your child does not share.

Frequently Asked Links

At what age should children be expected to share?

Should children be expected to share a bedroom with siblings?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

How can I teach my toddler to share? more

What should I do if my toddler will not share?

How should I respond if my child did not share?

How can I teach my child to share? more

What are some practical rules about sharing that I can implement with my children?

How should I deal with a child who habitually cannot share?

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Parenting Resources for the Jewish Community

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.

American Academy of Family Physicians
This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.

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