Help your preschooler along with these social development tips.
Beginning approximately around the age of four, children begin to develop the capacity for empathy. Prior to that, sweeties like my son, who will happily turn over a toy if you prompt him by saying it is another child's turn, are play-acting rather than showing genuine empathy. Sharing before four is simply another game that some children are more willing to play than others.
But just as children enter the pre-K years, they develop what we call pro-social behavior. Essentially, children are developmentally able to understand what another person is feeling and to care about the feelings of another...at least some of the time.
So, if your toddler isn't that keen on being a team player, the good news is that he still has a little while before he is truly developmentally able to show compassion. You can help matters along by showing your child the importance of considering others' feelings.
Do not despair if your toddler is not ready yet to share and show consideration. Some children are less willing to play along with expected behaviors than others, but they will still develop pro-social skills with time and patience.