Sep 30, 2013

    Why you shouldn't reward kids for sharing

    WHEN it comes to getting young children to share their toys, enticing them with a reward can backfire.

    Instead, giving them the choice to share would help nurture the good habit in the long run, a new study has found.

    Researchers from Cornell University conducted a series of experiments on 72 children aged three to five. They found that children, when given a difficult choice, see themselves in a new, more beneficent light in terms of sharing.

    "Perceiving themselves as people who like to share makes them more likely to act in a pro-social manner in the future," AFP Relaxnews reported, quoting the researchers.

    Using a reward to encourage sharing would make the kids see themselves as people who do not like to share - since they had to be rewarded for doing so.

    And because they do not view themselves as sharers, they are less likely to share in the future.

    "Making difficult choices allows children to infer something important about themselves," the researchers told AFP Relaxnews.

    The researchers added: "Allowing children to make difficult choices may influence their sharing behaviour by teaching them greater lessons about their abilities, preferences, and intentions towards others."