Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Egocentric: The thinking in the preoperative stage of cognitive development where children believe everyone sees the world from the same perspective as he or she does.

I have often been asked by parents, “When will my child stop saying, MINE!” or “When will my child learn to share?” My comedic answer is when 16, but going over the whole developmental explanation of why children share or not can be quite lengthy. In the preschool environment we take turns with toys. All toys are shared through this manner. It has been my experience that a preschooler who is fed, content and happy will be more apt to share than one that is discontent. Whatever the case, early childhood educators have to be on alert and ready to assist children during these times.
Armed with the knowledge I have as an educator I still struggle with sharing somethings as an adult. How does one take turns with chocolate, anyway?
I did have one parent try to pin me down on an age a child is ready to ‘share’. I finally answered her by asking her for her car keys to her coveted Lexus. She reluctantly handed them to me out of her purse as I said, “You wouldn’t mind sharing your car with me would you?”
“But that’s different.” She explained, “What if you crash my car or something?”
“I’m sure children worry about others destroying their toys.” I said flatly.
But…” She stammered.
“But what?” I smiled, jiggling her car keys.
“But it’s mine!”
 Sometimes the answer just seems to work itself out through the conversation.


Jenni said...

I've been meaning to comment on this and haven't had time...BRILLIANT! I love the reaction of parents when you put it in their perspective!

I also like to add one more thing to the list of requirements...fed, content, happy, and TRUSTS

I find children who trust they will have another turn or who trust that they will GET their turn in time have a much easier time sharing as well.

Unknown said...

I have to add that I have a close relationship with parents and families in the program(s) I am at. I use a lot of humor with them and they are used to seeing me pretty cheerful. When I am really concerned they know it. I like to discuss concerns before they could possibly become 'big issues' later on. Humor is just one tactic, but definitely not the only one.