Are you anxious about the upcoming holidays? Are you concerned about how the kids will react to gift-giving?
Did you know that turn-taking teaches waiting, the first lesson in positive assertiveness, and how to create and respect boundaries, skills all kids need to learn?
Why call it Turn-Taking
In a moment, I’ll get to why we call it Turn-Taking, not sharing. Turn-taking is a lesson that’s taught from many different angles again and again from the age of 2-20.
Being an adult requires you to understand that you can’t walk up and take someone’s phone out of their hand because you want to use it right now. Or, you can’t skip ahead of others and walk to the head of the line because you don’t want to wait in line.
That’s not how life works, and kids need to know that, but they aren’t learning that from the way we teach sharing.
My stepdad always insisted we share the spotlight during the holidays by opening one present at a time. It seemed like a good idea because waiting, regardless of age, is a requirement in life. So waiting became a holiday requirement in our family. But did that lesson always go well? Not. At. All.
Those lessons taught me that waiting and taking turns needed to be practiced repeatedly before the holidays, so kids understood how to achieve self-control, stop jealousy, and much more.
How do you Teach Turn-Taking?
The first thing you do is stop calling it sharing and stop insisting that your child share right now or else.
Why? Because…sharing requires that a child stop what they’re doing and hand over something they’re not finished with just because another person wants it.
And that teaches them that their needs are not being respected and that they are not as important as the other person.
More Problems with “Sharing”
#1: Sharing backfires in unexpected ways by teaching kids things like:
• If I cry really loud, my parent intervenes and gives me what I demand, even if they
have to take it from my sister.
• My sister and I are constantly competing to get what we need. That makes me not
• I rush through all my activities because I know my stuff could be taken from me at any
moment, and that makes me anxious.
#2: When you say, “You’ve had this long enough, it’s time to share; give it to your sister now.” You, the parent, are doing the sharing, not the child.
As a result, the child learns nothing about sharing and everything about being forced to relinquish boundaries and feels he is being treated with a demanding lack of respect.
Teach Turn-Taking instead?
The concept of turn-taking is simple to apply. Instead of demanding a child shares right now, you say, “Of course, you can have that as soon as sister is finished with it. What do you want to do while you wait?”
Turn-taking is respectful to all parties. It teaches waiting, maintaining boundaries and respect, and patience and self-control.
Turn-Taking is a real-world skill.
Turn-taking is a real-life skill that all kids need to learn; because childhood is about preparing kids to be adults, not indulging them so they become impatient, entitled, or demanding. For whatever reason, we all know that the holidays highlight the need for turn-taking, waiting, patience, kindness, respect, manners, and more.
So, if you’re anxious about behavior, family, and managing all the emotions that rise during the holidays, gift yourself some self-care before things become increasingly chaotic.
This year I’m offering, The Holiday Behavior Saver sessions 4-pack. 30 min. laser-focused sessions to help you master the holidays, manage your stress, relax, and release the overwhelm so you’re able to enjoy your dream holiday instead of tolerating your nightmare. Read what this is all about and how this will help you @ proactiveparenting.net/hbs.
That’s it for me.
Now, go hug your kids,
P.S. The Holiday Behavior Saver Sessions will magically disappear on December 15th, two weeks before Santa arrives, so gift yourself this support today before it goes away.