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Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Children's Health Channel
Reported March 21, 2013

Younger Kids Less Likely to Share


(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Sharing is something most children are taught early on, but young kids still have difficulty when it comes to practicing the concept. A recent study explains that while children as young as three years old understand sharing and believe it is important, they don’t follow the rules of sharing until about seven years of age. 
Using children between the ages of three and eight years of age, researchers handed out stickers to the kids and then asked them about sharing. Although all of the children said that people should share equally including themselves, when given the opportunity to share their stickers, the three to six-year-olds often favored themselves and did not follow the standards of sharing. 
The results suggest that despite understanding the rules of sharing, kids under the age of seven typically will not apply those rules in real situations. Researchers believe this may be because the value of practicing sharing becomes more important as children get older. 
A second part of the study also demonstrated that children at all ages were able to accurately predict how they would behave when faced with sharing their stickers. The three to six-year-olds knew they would not share equally while the seven to eight-year-olds knew they would. 
So the next time your youngster is a bit stingy with his toys, take comfort in knowing that they will likely become better sharers in just a few years. 
Source: Public Library of Science, March 2013
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