- Children under the age of two regard everything within their reach as their property.
- From the age of 4 they begin to understand the concept of sharing and are better able to exchange their toys.
Sharing is a difficult concept for young children to grasp. However, this ability is essential to being able to get along with others. According to American researchers, there is an easy way to teach your son or daughter to share. In a study published in the journal Development of the child On April 27, scientists revealed that encouraging your child to count can improve their behavior. To arrive at this result, the authors examined the sharing and counting abilities of children aged 2.5 to 5.5 years in two experiments.
To carry out its work, the team first recruited 97 children to analyze their sharing behaviors. The participants were put through a series of tasks in which they either had to keep stickers or give them out to other volunteers. Next, the researchers followed 219 young children. They tried to reproduce the effects observed in the first experiment and teach children to count. Toddlers were encouraged to count the stickers if they decided to keep or share them.
Counting skills are linked to understanding sharing
“Knowing numbers was clearly associated with fair sharing, even after accounting for children’s ages,” said the scientists. According to the results, after learning to count for five minutes, children improved their behavior and were more likely to share their stickers.
According to the authors, one of the reasons young children have trouble sharing may be because they have not yet learned to count. Therefore, children’s behavior should not be judged on what we think they “should” be doing, but based on their developmental stage, a full understanding of their cognitive abilities, and their social skills.
“This is the first study to examine whether counting has a causal influence on sharing,” said Nadia Chernyak, author of the paper and professor at the University of California at Irvine (USA), in a press release.