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post #101 of 204
And I wanted to be clear (and I think I speak for a lot of parents here) I wouldn't just snatch it out of a child hands. I would gently but firmly tell him he simply can not have that and I know he likes it and I am very sorry there is not more than one and we like to share and all that but that it is not his and he has upset the other child very much and must give it back now. and if he didn't habnd it over remove it very calmly and as gently as posible from his hands.
post #102 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka
And I wanted to be clear (and I think I speak for a lot of parents here) I wouldn't just snatch it out of a child hands. I would gently but firmly tell him he simply can not have that and I know he likes it and I am very sorry there is not more than one and we like to share and all that but that it is not his and he has upset the other child very much and must give it back now. and if he didn't habnd it over remove it very calmly and as gently as posible from his hands.
:

Deanna
post #103 of 204

Weird

What I don't see in any of the posted scenarios or responses is the MOMs working together with both children so that both kids feelings are validated and both kids learn from the experience. I don't think waiting for the other mom and kid to give the toy back for 15 minutes is reasonable. But I don't get why you wouldn't be communicating to the other mom about the situation. When you go to a public place with your child, the two of you are engaging in a community activity. So even if you don't know the other kids and parents, when an issue crops up, shouldn't both parents work to get the toy back to the rightful owner, find ways to help the kids play together agreeably, and console them when they don't get what they want?

If my child takes a toy, I certainly don't ignore the needs of the other child. I console and counsel both and try to avoid physical intervention. And if he has a toy taken from him, and that child's parent isn't nearby, or can't see what's happening, I go over and talk to both kids to try to work on a solution that works for all of us. At some point, the other parent will make an appearance and come over. I feel it's my job to engage that parent and make them aware of what's going on. The fact is that whichever side of the situation you're on, at some point, you're going to be on the opposite side. So it's an excellent opportunity for BOTH children to learn about asking before taking, sharing with a friend, and finding ways to play together that don't involve violating boundaries. If you just grab from your child, both children miss out on that opportunity. Both moms are likely to feel that their child's emotions are the top priority, and that's totally understandable. But in a community situation, I need to be able to find mutually agreeable solutions with the other people in that community and not just my own child. That's how I model good behavior and problem solving skills. If I act like I'm afraid to step on the other mom's toes by talking to her or her child, while I wait for her to finish her parenting, I teach my ds to be afraid and let people walk all over him. If I go over and take the toy back, I teach aggressiveness. If I try everything I know to work on a positive outcome with both children, and, ideally, the other parent, then I've taught patience and respect, both for oneself and other people. That's my personal goal. And I'm assuming that you are dealing with a rational adult, who is capable of peaceful conflict resolution. I know that's sometimes NOT the case (like in the original post), and I agree that sometimes physically removing might be the solution. But I try to assume the best in people, and I think that cases like that are rare.

To mama2mygirl:

Your daughter tried to do what she could to get the toy back through discussion, as well as patience and trust in the other child's mom. It was only after her other methods didn't work (and you couldn't come up with any other solutions either) that she simply took the toy back. I found that assertive rather than aggressive. She could have pushed the other kid down or yelled, but she didn't go that route. Seems to me that she handled the situation in a calm, reasonable manner given that she was dealing with a child and parent that were both sort of unreasonable. I doubt there was anything else you could have done.

Rachele
post #104 of 204
I think that people are not understanding. It is not about the child who has a toy taken standing there for 15 minutes crying. That isnt what people are advocating. You would get both children together and try to work out a solution. This is what we do at our parent co-operative preschool and it has NEVER been a problem. It would go something like this:

Child 1 is playing with a toy
Child 2 takes toy
Child 1 comes to parent/teacher crying about toy.
Parent/teacher asks child 1 if they would like to go talk to child 2 to get their toy back. If yes, parent/teacher goes with child 1 to child 2.
Child 1 is encouraged to use their words and express what they are feeling. Teach may say something "Child 2, Child 1 is very sad about the toy you took." Then address Child 1 with "Child 1, I am sorry that you are upset about the toy"
If child 2 does not readily give up the toy, parent/teacher will get down on the kids level and say something to the effect -- "well, we have a problem. Child 1 was playing with the toy, but child 2 wants to play with it instead. How do you think we can fix this?"
If children do not have any suggestions (which is probably for 2/3 year olds, but usually by 4 they are full of suggestions I have found, LOL).... then parent teacher can offer some. (child 1 may have the toy back and child 2 can play with ____ (insert other toy). Or child 2 may have the toy and child 1 can play with ____ (insert other toy). Or neither child may have the toy and both will find other toys.

I can honestly say that in 3 three years of my daughter being at the co-op and me volunteering 2-3 times a month the entire time, I have NEVER seen it not be worked out this way. Sometimes they do go through a few "rounds of ideas" but they can almost always work it out and there is no one standing around crying being left to be a victim. I have never seen a teacher having to pry a toy out of anyone's hand. Not only do the children learn problem solving, but they learn resepct for EVERYONE's feelings. They learn empathy and they learn how their actions affect their peers.
post #105 of 204
Quote:
I can honestly say that in 3 three years of my daughter being at the co-op and me volunteering 2-3 times a month the entire time, I have NEVER seen it not be worked out this way. I have never seen a teacher having to pry a toy out of anyone's hand. Not only do the children learn problem solving, but they learn resepct for EVERYONE's feelings. They learn empathy and they learn how their actions affect their peers.
I think that sounds wonderful and exactly the kind of teaching I'd hope to see in a preschool.

The problem some have raised is how to respond when the child is a stranger. The leadership coaching role explained above may be neither expected nor welcomed by the other family. They just want their crying child's toy back. Now.
post #106 of 204
While the pp scenarios are both appropriate and applicable in most or some situations - I can tell you that speaking for my hn three year old... she would be having a stroke at that point.

There would be some room for discussion - but what it comes down to is this - if a toy was snatched from her hands, there would be a two to five minute window for negotiation (if she wasn't already in hysterics) and after that she would be fully freaking out (for lack of a better term).

I'm embarassed to say that at that point, if child 'A' had not returned MY child's toy to her, or their caregiver made no move to physically remove the toy from their hands - I would remove said toy (yes physically, but very gently) from the child, and then I (and my daughter) would leave the situation.

I've been part of a *very* AP group since Zoe was two weeks old - and NEVER have I seen negotiations such as pp have described going on.
post #107 of 204
zoesmummy I *think* you were referring to the post before mine.
post #108 of 204
Quote:
There would be some room for discussion - but what it comes down to is this - if a toy was snatched from her hands, there would be a two to five minute window for negotiation (if she wasn't already in hysterics) and after that she would be fully freaking out (for lack of a better term).
If that were the case then I would focus on how I could help my child deal better with situations like this. Quickly grabbing the toy from the other child is not helping your child deal with the feelings she has or helping her solve the problem, it is just stopping her from going into hysterics and therefore setting her up to always meltdown if she doesnt have said toy in that 2-5 minute time frame.

That is JMO tho and I do not have your child or parent your child I am just telling you what I would do if it were my child. And just for the sake of discussion I will say that I do have a very spirited quick to freak 5 year old. She can go from happy in one minute to screaming and wailing on the floor the next because someone looked at her wrong or her shirt is the wrong color. It is definately frustrating and very hard to deal with so I can empathize with you.
post #109 of 204
Has it taken 15 minutes for anyone's kid here to give the toy back who doesn't practice taking it away?

It has never taken anywhere close to that amount of time for me.

And when my quick-to-freak-out kid has his stuff taken away from him, we work on dealing with that frustration and he now offers to trade, he works on using his words, he gets an adult, etc. More tools for his toolbox.

I don't get the comparing toddler grabbing to adult theft, but for the sake of argument, an officer isn't going to just come and take the lawn mower back from your neighbor. S/he is going to talk to the neighbor, find out what the deal is, and work to get the neighbor to voluntarily return the mower, and have the two of you talk it out, etc. Obviously at some point an arrest could be made and the mower returned via force, but I don't even think that would happen after 15 minutes. I'm guessing....
post #110 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchyMama
I think that people are not understanding. It is not about the child who has a toy taken standing there for 15 minutes crying. That isnt what people are advocating. You would get both children together and try to work out a solution. This is what we do at our parent co-operative preschool and it has NEVER been a problem. It would go something like this:

Child 1 is playing with a toy
Child 2 takes toy
Child 1 comes to parent/teacher crying about toy.
Parent/teacher asks child 1 if they would like to go talk to child 2 to get their toy back. If yes, parent/teacher goes with child 1 to child 2.
Child 1 is encouraged to use their words and express what they are feeling. Teach may say something "Child 2, Child 1 is very sad about the toy you took." Then address Child 1 with "Child 1, I am sorry that you are upset about the toy"
If child 2 does not readily give up the toy, parent/teacher will get down on the kids level and say something to the effect -- "well, we have a problem. Child 1 was playing with the toy, but child 2 wants to play with it instead. How do you think we can fix this?"
If children do not have any suggestions (which is probably for 2/3 year olds, but usually by 4 they are full of suggestions I have found, LOL).... then parent teacher can offer some. (child 1 may have the toy back and child 2 can play with ____ (insert other toy). Or child 2 may have the toy and child 1 can play with ____ (insert other toy). Or neither child may have the toy and both will find other toys.

I can honestly say that in 3 three years of my daughter being at the co-op and me volunteering 2-3 times a month the entire time, I have NEVER seen it not be worked out this way. Sometimes they do go through a few "rounds of ideas" but they can almost always work it out and there is no one standing around crying being left to be a victim. I have never seen a teacher having to pry a toy out of anyone's hand. Not only do the children learn problem solving, but they learn resepct for EVERYONE's feelings. They learn empathy and they learn how their actions affect their peers.
This is great and how I have seen it work most of the time. But as others have pointed out, the parent is not always there and we have absoluely no idea where this kid comes from as far as past interactions with people in general. We all talk about it on MDC. Examples like "maybe the mother was having a bad day", "maybe the driver was on the way to the ER", "maybe the person had sepcial needs"...... I try to approach (seemingly unsupervised) small chidren this way. I do not know that they have been treated respectfully. I do not know that they are developmentally on-track. I do not know anything about them. Just like we often know nothing about situations we as adults are forced to navigate on a daily basis. I want to model to dd that we do not know these things and that compassion, understanding, and open-minds are the best tools to interacting with other humans. That means having some patience and not jumping to decide it is MY dd's toy and this child thinks it is OK to STEAL it. The best thing I can do for both my child and this unknown child (who I might know nothing about) is to assume the best intentions and help everyone get what they want. That does not mean letting my child cry for 15 minutes. There are an infinite number of ideas I can think of right now that could be suggested before anyone cries for 15 minutes.
post #111 of 204
Well all of this is exactly why I do no longer let my child take her toys into places where there will be other children. She is now 3.5 and well into being able to communicate wll with me and understand what she is supposed to do. But, when she was younger, we had encouters like this at sandboxes and at playgroups. When she has taken a toy that does not belong to her, I immediately talk to her about giving it back. Before she could adequately communicate, I helped her with words. Nowadays, she knows that she cannot just take a toy from someone but that she can ask to use it. She also knows that if she takes her toys somewhere then others will want to use them so she leaves hers in the car or at home.

I value the ideas and ethics of Unconditional Parenting but I do not recall anywhere in the book where it said that you cannot talk to your child about giving back the toy they have taken. I think Kohn would be more in favor or not rewarding or punishing a child for taking a toy but instead to discuss it with them and treat them with respect. I think that more important than my own child's self esteem is the message that we cannot take what we want just because we want it. My child's self esteem and self worth are very important to me but not at the expense of our family's morals and values. In our family, we do not take what we want without considering other's feelings. In society, it is illegal to take something that does not belong to you. I believe I can instill these values and laws into my child by being respectful and talking about it. But, push come to shove, if she refused to give back the item she took, I would take it from her and give it back to its owner. And, if we were in a situation where she did take a toy of hers to a public place and someone took it from her without asking, I would not talk to the child at all. It is not my place to discipline somebody's elses child. I would either help her ask for it back or ask for the parent and then ask for my child's toy back immediately. I hope that I never encounter a parent who patentedly refuses to comply.
post #112 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by abac
Sweetbaby3, ahh the joys of online forums. Let's just hope our children never meet on the playground. Or at least if they do, let's hope they can come to an agreement better and faster than we can, or there might be a lot of snatching and waiting going on.
Sing it sister. My guess is that it would be worked out before we even got to the sand box.

Here's how it would go:
My youngest is playing in the sandbox with his favorite shovel and toy shark.
your child takes beloved shark.

my child stares briefly, gaping.

He most certainly would ask for it back.
He would ask again while your child processes what he's gonna do.

Enter my middle boy and protective older brother: Hey buddy, you wanna give that back?

Your child: No.

Middle son: I think you should reconsider. Or your gonna have to tell me why.

Middle son: takes shark back

Younger son: promptly gives is back to your possibly crying child.

My oldest: is probably making grilled cheese sandwiches for everyone, because thats what she does when there is drama.

What am I doing? quite possibly chatting with you not even realizing whats going on, or reading my book letting things play out.

I would not pry or grab said shark from your child or anyone elses (its my last resort, and has been as my oldest grilled cheese making daughter is 19 and I have been doing this for a while). If things were going along at the speed I think it should go (and like we all mostly agree it should be quick), then I would certainly tell you you need to step in and get the toy.

My child didnt do anything.
His feelings should warrant more than just lip service to him learning to negotiate, and whatever else all the snatchers parents think my child should do including wait and ask, an wait and ask, and on and on. It seems to me that alot of our time is being spent on making the snatcher feel better about giving a toy back. That isnt even his in the first place. Snatching is aggressive.

My child has had a toy snatched from him, and before I could even do anything (or the other mama), he grabbed it right back. He said: Thats not yours!

How is this a problem? How is my child even remotely a bully? I would say he was being pretty proactive
post #113 of 204
Quote:
This is great and how I have seen it work most of the time. But as others have pointed out, the parent is not always there and we have absoluely no idea where this kid comes from as far as past interactions with people in general.
True, and to that I will add that I have indeed used this at playgrounds where my children were playing and we had conflicts with other kids. It has never been an issue. i have never had a mother come up to me and yell at me for treating her child nicely and helping them find a solution. I really can't imagine that anyone would be angry at anyone for helping 2 children solve their problems peacefully.
post #114 of 204
I think another point of confusion here is whether the item in question is part of the shared environment, or a personal item belonging only to one child.

You are standing in Starbucks, with an item in your hand, when someone grabs it, and walks off to use it for themselves. Most of us will have a different reaction if the object was our laptop, as opposed to the cafe container of Half and Half.

If an item comparable to the half and half was taken from ds, I can see the virtue in coaching him to remain generous and calm despite the rudeness of another child.

If someone grabbed "his laptop" (beloved or highly valued personal object), well, even the most laid back adults I know wouldn't spend 15 minutes debating the needs of the adult who took off with their laptop. They would want it back. Now. Not later. Not in 15 minutes.

I think that is the kind of dynamic some parents are defending in this thread. They are saying a child is entitled to have strong feelings when they feel something is/was being stolen from them~

Others are, I think, consider the object in question to be like the container of Half and Half...nobody is "stealing it" by grabbing it away. It was part of the shared space that everybody was using (which is often the case with toys at playdates or preschool). I think we all recognize there is virtue in learning to be patient and understanding with rude people, instead of being rude back.

These are, I think, two different situations being described. Both are equally valid.
post #115 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
I think another point of confusion here is whether the item in question is part of the shared environment, or a personal item belonging only to one child.

You are standing in Starbucks, with an item in your hand, when someone grabs it, and walks off to use it for themselves. Most of us will have a different reaction if the object was our laptop, as opposed to the cafe container of Half and Half.

If an item comparable to the half and half was taken from ds, I can see the virtue in coaching him to remain generous and calm despite the rudeness of another child.

If someone grabbed "his laptop" (beloved or highly valued personal object), well, even the most laid back adults I know wouldn't spend 15 minutes debating the needs of the adult who took off with their laptop. They would want it back. Now. Not later. Not in 15 minutes.

I think that is the kind of dynamic some parents are defending in this thread. They are saying a child is entitled to have strong feelings when they feel something is/was being stolen from them~

Others are, I think, consider the object in question to be like the container of Half and Half...nobody is "stealing it" by grabbing it away. It was part of the shared space that everybody was using (which is often the case with toys at playdates or preschool). I think we all recognize there is virtue in learning to be patient and understanding with rude people, instead of being rude back.

These are, I think, two different situations being described. Both are equally valid.
Well said mama.
post #116 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
I think another point of confusion here is whether the item in question is part of the shared environment, or a personal item belonging only to one child.

You are standing in Starbucks, with an item in your hand, when someone grabs it, and walks off to use it for themselves. Most of us will have a different reaction if the object was our laptop, as opposed to the cafe container of Half and Half.

If an item comparable to the half and half was taken from ds, I can see the virtue in coaching him to remain generous and calm despite the rudeness of another child.

If someone grabbed "his laptop" (beloved or highly valued personal object), well, even the most laid back adults I know wouldn't spend 15 minutes debating the needs of the adult who took off with their laptop. They would want it back. Now. Not later. Not in 15 minutes.

I think that is the kind of dynamic some parents are defending in this thread. They are saying a child is entitled to have strong feelings when they feel something is/was being stolen from them~

Others are, I think, consider the object in question to be like the container of Half and Half...nobody is "stealing it" by grabbing it away. It was part of the shared space that everybody was using (which is often the case with toys at playdates or preschool). I think we all recognize there is virtue in learning to be patient and understanding with rude people, instead of being rude back.

These are, I think, two different situations being described. Both are equally valid.
Yep. I think to most children, there is no difference. Something that is common might be prized by some kids while something really "important" might not generate as much of a reaction. We see a HUGE difference. But many times children do not......which of course, complicates the situation.
post #117 of 204
you can not compare adults taking things from other adults to children. Adults have impulse control and understand possesion and ownership. The same can not be said for children.
post #118 of 204
OK, I managed to lose my reply, so I'm gonna try again.
I really am against grabbing form my child unless she's in danger, but lately I've been finding myself grabbing from my older dd to return whatever it is she just grabbed from younger dd. I hate doing it though, because it feels wrong.

If you try words and they don't work, grabbing, as a last resort, seems ok. But I'd say the length of time spent negotiating with the snatcher should be tempered by the level of emotional upset experienced by the owner. If the owner is really upset, the last resort would be resorted to sooner.

Perhaps it can be wrong to grab from the snatcher but still be fair. Is it possible for something to be wrong and fair at the same time? I dunno. It sure seems like a grey area.
post #119 of 204
Quote:
you can not compare adults taking things from other adults to children. Adults have impulse control and understand possesion and ownership. The same can not be said for children.
I agree there are differences. The ethics of an adult taking a laptop are very different from those of a 3 year old taking a teddy bear.

However I was addressing the disagreement over whether we should coach the child who's item was "taken" to be compassionate and understanding, rather than emotional and distraught.

I'm saying, even for adults, this would really depend on the item and circumstances. That matters to kids too. I don't think you will make progress "coaching" a child to feel generous when someone grabs their security blanket.

Very few of us could be coached into letting someone wear the wedding ring they just took from our finger. Our *emotional* reaction would be such that even hearing the suggestion we should share it would make us more upset.

*This* is also true of children with beloved objects...even asking them to try and understand why the other child took it can feel like a betrayal; a completely overwhelming suggestion.

However I want to validate that it *is* important to teach children coping skills. A swift hysterical breakdown isn't the best reaction and I understand the suggestions that we also coach the child who lost the object.
post #120 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
I don't think you will make progress "coaching" a child to feel generous when someone grabs their security blanket.
My goal isn't to coach my child to feel generous if someone takes a beloved item--it's to coach him on how to approach problem solving, how to assert himself without violence, how to voice objections (strong ones) in an acceptable way, how to turn to others for help and mediation support, how to be gracious with those who aren't as skillful or developmentally advanced, etc.

And the best way I know to do that is to model it.

By stating that:

The toy is Sam's.
Sam was using it.
Sam would like it back, please.
Sam might be able to offer a turn when he is done.
Sam is happy to let you use his other toy instead.
Both Sam and you want to use the toy now, what can we do?
Can you trade Sam for it?
Can your mother help you find something else to play with?
I'm sorry, Sam doesn't want to share that toy. It's very special to him.
And so on...

He's nearly 5 now. He could easily grab stuff back from the toddlers at the playground. But that's not the kind of problem solving he does, nor is it the kind I would want him to do. YMMV

Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
Very few of us could be coached into letting someone wear the wedding ring they just took from our finger. Our *emotional* reaction would be such that even hearing the suggestion we should share it would make us more upset.
Perhaps. But what if it were a mentally handicapped person? Or an elderly person with Alzheimers who was confused and thought the ring was their's? Wouldn't you be able to have enough compassion and understanding that their intent wasn't malicious to not get so upset?

And would the best way to retrieve the ring, be to ask for it a couple of times, give up, and then pry it out of the person's hand? I don't know....I do know that I wouldn't feel good about an exchange that went down like that. I would try any means possible to avoid that level of physical conflict.
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