Are your kids always always fighting? Not sure how to teach your child how to share without them becoming resentful? Maybe considering a sharing mat as the way to go! Its pretty straight forward and as hands off as it could possibly get without your child(ren) feeling like you are hovering.
What is a the point of a mat?
A sibling mat is pretty much a a carpet square or a small carpet that each child gets as their own space to play in!
How does a Sharing Mat work?
So once you give you child there own carpet square that is theirs and theirs only! That being said there are a small list of boundaries that need to be held up in order to promote what it is you may want! In this case it is sharing! And preventing unnecessary fights!
Sharing Mat Boundaries
When it comes to wanting your child to learn how to share you will want to teach each of them that it is okay to have there own space and that not only do they get that privilege but they have to respect those around them as well.
For example, let’s say Timmy want to play with his toy firetruck and no one else was playing with it Timmy could play with it on his carpet square and no other child gets to take it from him until he is done play with the truck!
This may be very hard for another child that may want to play with it after he has grabbed it but give Timmy some time with playing the toy until he wants to move on to something else!
The other child, lets name that child Billy, wants it really bad but its on Timmys mat Billy will have to wait!
You’re probably thinking well how does this help the kids share?
I like to compare sharing to paying taxes. Most of us parents are all too familiar with paying taxes.
When something is taken from you, like money, just because you have to contribute you can become more resentful to the party that is receiving that money. When you get the option to give money to someone or something without it being taken, having a choice, you are most likely happily and willing going to donate/give!
The same concept goes for children!
Forcing to share…
when you force children to share you, depending on the child, maybe instilling some habits you are ultimately trying to avoid.
Here is a list of habits that may come when you force a child to share:
- People pleasing
- Being more possessive
- Breaking trust
- Not getting the chance to feel how good it is to willing give from your heart
- less helpful
I realistically could keep going but these are just a few to list. Now of course every child is different and respond differently to any approach but ONLY YOU know your child the best so ajust where you see fit!
What do I need to make it successful?
A carpet square, or blanket dedicated to each child!
Having your child help pick out their blanket/carpet can and will really help with having more independent and confidence when it comes to playing with others! Give them some sense of control with the boundaries that you may have in place and expect you be held.
Next is a list of boundaries! Here is an example of the boundaries I have put in place in our home!
- If the toy is in the child’s area another child CANNOT take it
- Must put away toy(s) when done playing so others get a chance to play
- No taking from others mat!
Keep it simple! When you keep it simple its easy to follow through with your boundaries where they are respected without even noticing in the long run.
You got this!
Don’t overthink it! Like everything it takes patience and time. Be consistent and you will be able to see the fruits of your labor!