I really enjoyed reading this article about sharing [11 Ways to Teach Your Child to Share] from Ask Dr. Sears, as my son is about to turn 3 so it's all very relevant
I particularly liked these paragraphs:
Even at four or five years of age, expect selective sharing. A child may reserve a few precious possessions just for himself. The child is no more likely to share her treasured teddy or tattered blanket than you would share your wedding ring or the heirloom shawl your mother gave you. Respect and protect your child's right to his own possessions.True sharing implies empathy, the ability to get into another's mind and see things from their viewpoint. Children are seldom capable of true empathy under the age of six. Prior to that time they share because you condition them to do so. Don't expect a child less than two or 2½ to easily accept sharing.^^ I receive a fair bit of flack from other parents because I don't expect DS to share his precious trains (his "engines") with other kids and don't force him to, but this article makes me feel better about it! I think it makes a lot of sense. EnjoyDon't force a child to share. Instead, create attitudes and an environment that encourage your child to want to share. There is power in possession. To you, they're only toys. To a child, they're a valuable, prized collection that has taken years to assemble.