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Tell EE how you teach your children to share – you could win an (unlocked) HTC One handset worth £490! NOW CLOSED

(137 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 16-Sep-13 13:50:07

The folks at EE would like to know how Mumsnetters teach their DCs to share.

Here's what EE have to say "We're the UK's biggest mobile network and we've just created Shared #4GEE Plans. They're a new way for your household to save money while getting the fastest mobile internet experience on your phones, tablets and laptops.

A Shared 4GEE Plan allows your whole family to enjoy the fastest speeds on EE's 4G network. It works by letting you share your data allowance across a number of devices, with everyone enjoying unlimited minutes and unlimited texts too. Even better, it's less money than having everyone on separate mobile contracts.

Shared 4G Plans are unique to EE and we wanted to celebrate their launch by asking you how sharing fits into your busy life."

~ What are your top tips for getting your children to share with their siblings and/or friends? Do you reward your children when they share to encourage good behaviour? Perhaps you buy one item for all of your children to share instead of buying one for each of them? What different strategies did you use to teach your DCs to share? Has this changed as they've got older?
~ How much of a struggle was it to get your children to share with their siblings, friends or even you? Or maybe this has never been an issue for you and your family?

Whatever your experiences please do share on this thread (no pun intended wink).

Everyone who adds their thoughts and comments to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win an (unlocked) HTC One handset (worth up to £490!). For full T&Cs please click here.

Please note your comments may be used (anonymously of course) on EE's pages on MN, social media channels and possibly elsewhere.

Thanks and good luck,


YourHandInMyHand Mon 16-Sep-13 13:59:53

With my DS, step sons and child minded kids (yes all together at once!) I used a kitchen timer set to 5 minutes (sometimes 10 mins depending on toy). They can see them time running down for their turn, and when it rings it's a clear signal that it's the next person's turn. Works a treat, I always recommend it to solve sharing squabbles!

YourHandInMyHand Mon 16-Sep-13 14:01:06

Oops I pressed post too soon! My DS in particular really struggles with sharing (he has autism) and the visual aid of the timer really helps him see that it's fair.

supermariossister Mon 16-Sep-13 20:40:17

I have before used an egg timer when it was a particular thing like the laptop which doesn't belong to any of them but I definately think there is something to be said for also teaching them that some things are just for them for example they all have a 3ds console, this was important to me as its something that could be broken or mistreated by another sibling and all would lose out so some things are not shared . don't so much reward for sharing but will pick up on it if I witnessed it or was told by school by praise. I think the enjoyment they get out of sharing sweets and watching a film is ten times bigger than the enjoyment they would get scoffing them on the way home alone and this is the kind of attitude they seem to have grown up with.

GetKnitted Mon 16-Sep-13 21:05:11

I've gone for the traditional route. While DS2 was under 2, DS1 had to share always, because DS2 was too young to understand. Now DS2 has seen his brother sharing so much he has started to share spontaneously. When DS1 was this age he found sharing very difficult, having been an only child til then.

edlyu Mon 16-Sep-13 21:12:46

When sharing cake, one cuts and the other chooses.

Strict turn and turn about when it comes to seats in the car (no car seats) or settee for tv watching.

Timer for goes on consoles .

Dylanlovesbaez Mon 16-Sep-13 21:16:47

We often use a sand timer at school it's great as a visual tool for explaining time to those who have no concept of it. Dd is 16 months and going through a 'mine' stage, struggling with ideas about how to get her to share so will be watching thread with interest. Mainly I praise her for sharing which currently seems to work, we will see how long it lasts!

QOFE Mon 16-Sep-13 21:21:10

My DD (10) is very good most of the time at sharing with my DS (3). I think the age gap helps because it means one of them gets it and is able to set a good example to the other. We do lots of "one for you, one for me" and turn taking games together.

However DD does really really hate DS fiddling with anything in her bedroom so she has a stairgate on her door to keep him out. That way, she has a safe haven that's all hers, which makes her a lot more willing to share other things.

Buswanker Mon 16-Sep-13 21:43:25

I have never had any problems with sharing. We have six children which means they dont know any different other than to share. Having a larger family means we all stick to a budget so we certainly don't have an iPad etc each, even if we had unlimited amounts of money I would not let them have lots of expensive gadgets all of their own.
An example is my 15 year old saved his birthday money for an iPod, we put the rest of the money in so he had enough. He is happy to share with the younger children as long as they ask nicely and dont drop it!

dahville Tue 17-Sep-13 12:06:17

My husband and I do over-exaggerated sharing with each other in front of our toddler. He's such a mimic that modelling behaviour works really well for him. It doesn't always work when he needs to share with other children but in the family setting we're getting good results.

MaddAddam Tue 17-Sep-13 13:50:08

We had a distinction between Toys they had to share (with siblings, visiting children) and Toys they didn't have to share - Special Toys. So they could choose to not share some of their precious toys, but they couldn't do that to all/most toys. This worked quite well.

Also I didn't make the older children share everything they were doing with the younger ones, as younger children often want everything that someone else has as soon as the older child picks it up, so I would let the older child do something in peace and the younger would have to have a turn at a later point. Cos I think it's quite unfair on older ones to have to give up everything when a younger child pesters.

supermariossister Tue 17-Sep-13 13:53:55

i think that makes all the difference madd having the option to say no im just doing this alone right now isnt necessarily a bad thing and as adults we do it so encourage the same with the children. obviously if you are playing a car game and x wants to join in then you dont have 20 cars and them 2 but if one car is new out of pocket money or as a reward i wouldnt expect them to share it instantly. it is learning that sharing is important and makes you and other people happy but sometimes its okay to want to do something on our own. I sometimes worry that i let them play alone too much as i am very happy in my own company but they all share well at school/home apart from the odd " hes taking all the sand" in the sandpit. which i havent worked out how to solve yet

CMOTDibbler Tue 17-Sep-13 14:05:07

DS is an only child, but we do a lot of modelling of good sharing behaviour (including not always sharing equally if its something special) in the family.
We also make sure that visiting children get equal shares and things like 'I cut, you choose'

manfalou Tue 17-Sep-13 20:20:51

My two boys are 3 and 5 months so now the youngest is starting to grab at things the eldest is starting to feel a bit like 'hey thats mine'. If it is one of his favourite toys that the baby's grabbing then I will take it off him and give it to DS1, saying something like 'this toy is for bigger boys, Mason will play with it with you when you're older' but also vice versa with DS2's toys. If DS1 only wants the toy that the baby's grabbing simply because the baby's grabbing it I'll tell him that it is his go on 2 minutes which does work at the minute but I think as DS2 grows then a visual timer will be the best way forward.

I find it hard to put the sharing rules into practice when in public like at the soft play centre. As whilst I ensure that my child shares with others fairly they don't always share with him which he cottons on to and asks why. Children snatching toys of other children just because they want it and not because they actually want to play with it makes me so mad but its not my place to tell that child any different and I don't want to encourage my child to take it back off them either. I tend to say something along the lines of 'that little/boy isn't being kind today, shall we go and play with something different?' .. There was one incident where the child followed my DS and continued to take toys off him so I did have to say something to the child, to which he left crying. I felt awful but what else was there to do.

Iwaswatchingthat Tue 17-Sep-13 20:29:28

My two are recently going through a phase of finding it hard to share, to be fair it is more dd2 won't share with dd1.

I find that when dd1 comes and complains that dd2 is not being fair I have given up on trying to intervene and sort it out. At 8 & 7 I am trying to encourage them to start sorting out any issues they have themselves. I usually have to start them off though....

To help the process along I usually say "You need to go and work out with your sister how best you can both play with x,z." Then add in a stage whisper styleeee voice to encourage dd2's more generous side via her ego, "but you know that dd2 is usually so kind and considerate I am sure she will share beautifully if you just ask her. Her teacher tells me she is really good at sharing..."

* As a final resort if they don't share neither of them have it. Well it worked for King Soloman!!!*

BadlyWrittenPoem Wed 18-Sep-13 11:58:02

What are your top tips for getting your children to share with their siblings and/or friends?
Do you reward your children when they share to encourage good behaviour?
I might comment positively according to the age of the child (so the one year old gets praise for any sharing whereas the six year old I would only comment if she was being particularly kind eg by sharing something of particular value to her.
Perhaps you buy one item for all of your children to share instead of buying one for each of them?
Yes, it depends on what the item is - I expect the paddling pool and trampoline to be shared whereas books and toys it would depend on the item. I don't have multiple copies of the same book but some toys it is nice to both play with one at the same time.
What different strategies did you use to teach your DCs to share? Has this changed as they've got older? How much of a struggle was it to get your children to share with their siblings, friends or even you? Or maybe this has never been an issue for you and your family?
Yes, strategies have changed as described above in that it doesn't need to be instructed so much as they get older but it's never been something that's been an issue for us. Our biggest issue has been that DD1 is so unpossesive of her toys that she would unwittingly pick up another child's toy with no idea that it might upset them and then not realise why they were getting upset.

Spirael Thu 19-Sep-13 10:02:17

Lead by example. DH and I often point out about how we're sharing and how nice it is in front of DD. We do the same when we share things with her. Seems to have worked, because she'll now spontaneously share her things as well!

Melted my heart yesterday when she carefully held a bun she'd made at nursery all the way home in the car without nibbling, then insisted we all sit on the sofa and share it together.

missorinoco Thu 19-Sep-13 10:13:09

Keep praising good sharing, even when they are a little older
For pre schoolers if there is a precious toy they will struggle to share with friends we put it away for the duration of the visit.
I also reiterate at this age the X may be playing with their toy but they will not be taking it home.

My strategies have changed with age. I encourage the older children to offer the toddler an alternative if he has taken their toy or they want a turn and he won't share, and emphasise he is learning to share.

WowOoo Thu 19-Sep-13 11:21:42

With toys or games I sometimes use a timer with a silly foghorn noise.

With food or snacks I'll often put things in bowls so they can help themselves - but I make it clear that they have to leave enough for the other people at the table and ask if other people have had enough.

They have to let their friends share their stuff. If it's something special and the visitor is not old enough to be careful with it we stash it away.

I bought some things for the children to share last year and it actually worked better than I'd anticipated. I've been able to let them negotiate themselves, but I'll step in to referee if it starts getting nasty!

mrscumberbatch Thu 19-Sep-13 12:06:04

We use a star chart in our house. Dd knows that although she may not like sharing, something nice will happen at the end of the week if she does!

We normally use rewards like trips to museums or grannies house. It's cheap and cheerful but gets her on board

afussyphase Thu 19-Sep-13 12:20:49

We use a combination of things: strict turn-taking for things like who gets to turn the light on/off (I know, I know), more flexible turn-taking for short active things (eg who is doing a roll on the mat), praise for good sharing, and finally me telling them in my very firm tone that if I hear any more about something not being shared, I am TAKING IT AWAY and no one will have it. The problem with that is that DD1 just gives up and DD2 gets the toy because she is a toddler. But if DD1 is really bothered I go over and explain and say again that if it's not shared I will take it away. Many repetitions later and DD2 is pretty good about it.

ouryve Thu 19-Sep-13 12:25:53

My boys both have ASD and don't "do" sharing.

Actually, DS1 does. Everything that is his, is his, and everything that is DS2's, is his. hmm

We settle for teaching DS1 that playing nicely with DS2's toys is fine, but he mustn't destroy them and when DS2 wants to play with it, he must relinquish it. We still have to do a lot of refereeing.

We also have a large box of lego, that is mostly handmedowns or car boot finds and that has to be shared, or else it goes in time out. DS1 is not expected to share his nice sets, though. All DS2 generally wants to do is collect the wheels and windows, anyhow, so it's pointless insisting that DS1 share the special stuff with him.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Thu 19-Sep-13 13:04:24

DD1 is 2.7. We only really share food with her at the moment, but we try to find ways of introducing sharing toys and other things at home where we can. We offer to share things with her and each other eg who would like to share a slice of toast with me? Would you like to share my yogurt?
It generally works quite well, but last week at my parents' house we each only got 1/4 of a wagon wheel sad

WeileWeileWaile Thu 19-Sep-13 13:27:14

DS was great at sharing once his sister came along when he was 18 months - we never had to teach him, he just had an innate sense of fairness.

DD on the other hand. She was awful. Once for her birthday we had takeaway pizza as a treat. She thought as it was for her birthday she should be the only one to have any - she actually launched herself at me and tried to prise open my jaw and snatch the pizza out. Another year on her birthday at a little tea party, she is heard quite clearly on film asking me if it was her birthday. When I told her it was, she bellowed Stop eating my birthday

I should point out that she was 2 and 3 for these birthdays. Not 12 & 13.

The only way to fix it was to be quite stern with her about the importance of sharing and disciplining for her bad behaviour. Being fair and consistent with it did help too. but she still has her moments

ShatnersBassoon Thu 19-Sep-13 13:52:57

Our children have been bought lots of things that are to share, even presents that have come 'from Santa' have been to share. They're just used to having things that aren't only for them.

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