“Forced sharing teaches your child to hold on tightly to things for at any moment they could be snatched away. “- Sarah Rosensweet

If you’re like a lot of the well-meaning parents I work with, you want your child to turn out to be a generous individual. You might think that requiring them to share will get you there.

Guess what? It doesn’t!!

Forced sharing contributes to sibling fights and rivalry by creating resentment between siblings. According to researchers, it also actually interferes with the development of generosity and kindness and can even create anxiety.

Try this instead: Help your child keep their property ‘safe’ and support ‘long turns’ for community property. In peaceful parenting, we suggest that children never have to share things that belong just to them. If a child is using something that belongs to the whole family, they can use it until they are done with it.

You may have to deal with the emotional fallout from siblings. That’s okay. You can support them with empathy while they wait. They are building emotional resilience. They are also learning that when it’s their turn, they don’t have to worry about toys being taken away and that their property rights will be respected.

If this is difficult for you, imagine how you would feel if your boss said it was your coworker’s turn with your computer, “You’ve had it long enough.” Or your boss says you have to let your coworker borrow your car. Right?

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