High up on the list of lessons parents have to teach their kids again and again and again is how to share. They get it, but they don't get it. They need constant reminding; it's a process.
So when your kid takes the initiative and makes a move to share on his or her own, it can be a cause for celebration. It happened recently with my 4-year-old daughter, and it was a banner day.
I had picked up her and a companion of hers from summer camp, and we were on the subway. They're good friends, but they have a toddler rivalry going on: who's "first" at any given function... first out the door, first to say something, first to suggest an activity, whatever. It's exhausting, but it's what toddlers sometimes do.
We'd gotten on the subway to return home, and whether we take the train or the bus, the desired seat is always the window seat (never mind that the window seat on the subway equals darkness for the majority of the ride).
On this trip, it was my daughter's turn for the window seat, but since they were very tired from an active day at camp -- and therefore both on the brink of breakdown -- I told them that my daughter would start with the window seat since it was her turn, but that they'd switch halfway through the trip. They agreed.
Soon after the first stop, I looked at my daughter, and she shot me a funny face -- one I couldn't quite place. She then looked at her friend and proceeded to make the move to let her friend have the window seat.
It was awesome. She hadn't taken that kind of initiative before on a sharing issue. I was so proud of her, and I told her so. She smiled.
That's it. It was fabulous. When your kid surprises you with good behavior like that, you take it, praise the child, then move on.
It was a good day.