Playing with others

Children learn a lot from playing with others, including how to share, how to empathise, how to have fun with others and basically, how to be social beings. But at first there may be tantrums, tears and fighting as children learn the not-always-simple task of getting along with others.

Top 10 Tips

1. Try not to referee everything. Let children try to problem solve a lot of the simple things.

2. Encourage creative solutions from children. ‘How are you going to sort this out?’

3. Friendly reminders are always helpful. ‘Hey remember what we do in this situation’.

4. If children are coming to your house, have your child pick out toys that they’re happy to share.

5. Don’t expect your child to share all their toys. Would you share all of yours?!

6. A good idea might be to take the toys they’re happy sharing into the living room for their visitors to play with, rather than allowing friends free rein of your child’s room.

7. Be realistic about what sharing means and if they’re developmentally capable of sharing. Maybe it’s better to be talking about ‘taking turns’ rather than ‘sharing’.

8. Use positive language. Tell children what you want. Try to lessen the times when you’re telling them what you don’t want. Far easier for a child to ‘use gentle hands’ than ‘not use rough hands’.

9. Tell children what you want them to do in simple language.

10. Sometimes the best outcome is to just take the child away from the situation without punishing them. Allow them to calm down, then reintroduce them to the situation without shaming them in any way.

Latest news and features