Sharing is Caring and So Much More

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — It’s one of the first social lessons kids learn growing up. Sharing with others is generous and makes you feel good. However, for a 3 year old, giving toys to another child may not be something they will readily want to do. Now, a new study is examining how kids link generosity with their own happiness.

Learning is strongly influenced by emotions, especially in the first few years of a child’s life. Studies have shown that kindergartners who had a warm, positive relationship with their teacher were more positive about learning and coming to school. So would positive thoughts about sharing translate to kids being happy to share? Social scientists studied children between the ages of three and six. They asked the kids how they would feel or how would another child feel if someone didn’t share with them. They found that the kids associated sharing with positive emotions while not sharing with negative emotions. Also the kids who understood what it meant to feel left out were more willing to share with others.

Parents can help kids make the generosity and happiness link by first helping them understand their own emotions. This allows them to recognize other people’s emotions. Also, allow kids to solve their own issues when it comes to sharing. Don’t just tell your child to share, but ask how they can come up with a solution to make everyone happy.

A study in China of three and five year olds found kids were even happier when they voluntarily shared instead of being told to. The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

Related Articles

Most Americans can’t cover a $1,000 emergency If you were hit with a $1,000 emergency, would you be able to cover it? For the majority of Americans, the answer is no.
Nestle is making a pink KitKat from ruby chocolate KitKat fans are about to get their first taste of ruby chocolate.
Slow-moving winter storm leaves lingering effect in South From Charlotte to Raleigh, North Carolina's five most populous cities all saw significant snow from a system that followed an atypical west-to-east pa...
Holsapple trial date moved to May The trial of the man accused of hitting a former county judge executive with his car last year, killing him, has been rescheduled to begin in the spri...