Are their situations that often make you wonder if you are witnessing a war at home? I am talking about those times when your toddler thinks it’s her right to accumulate and not share. Toddlers are little selfish creatures who think the world revolves around them and to teach them to share is like talking to a wall. But, that does not mean you cannot teach your toddler to share?
As always let me tell you why this question propped. We had some visitors at our place the other day and fortunately, they came along with their toddler son. I say fortunately because since I chose not to put my daughter in a playgroup, I am always looking for opportunities that will help her meet some toddlers her age. This was perfect – yes for me – because I had no idea the kind of trouble I was inviting.
Everything was going great, for some time kids were playing well and I was wondering why the hell people are making a fuss about toddlers not sharing. And, suddenly I hear two kids screaming their lungs out both holding the same toy. The scene was funny for me to watch, but not for the kids. So, we had to break them up and were busy convincing each of them why they should share. Did they understand? Hell no. They were at it – again!
Ideas or solutions are something that never hit you at the correct time, at least for me. We had to finally pacify them with ice cream and had to hide the toy as well. But, when they left, I was left wondering about what I would do when I have to face a similar situation again. For someone who is 18 months old, what good are my words to her? Some affirmative action needs to happen next time around.
I made a list of things I am going to do the next time a situation like this pops up. Here it is –
- Make sure you let your toddler know, and I mean often, that their toys are theirs to keep. If someone plays with them for some time, that does not make the toys theirs.
- For older toddlers, you can intervene as soon as grabbing happens and tell them firmly, not angrily that we take turns to play. Help them set turns so they actually know what turns means.
- Shift their attention to some new game totally, so that the whole tantrum is forgotten.
- Telling them stories about how sharing actually works. I pretend to play with her dad to explain to her what sharing means. Gradually, she is getting the concept.
These are just some of the tips that I am working on right now. Toddlers are self-centered and the need is to be gentle when explaining things to them. If you become too focused on disciplining, you might end up with a toddler who just enjoys getting a reaction from you.
Sharing is a very important part of building relationships for your child. They need to understand why sharing is important. For older toddlers, the more you speak with them and show examples of sharing, the better they will learn.
How have you handled such situations with your toddlers? Share you must try tips here.