sharing toys with playmates - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 01-02-2003, 03:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi there

I would like to ask what other mothers think or do in similar situation.

I know toddlers have a hard time accepting to share their toys with their playmates as its hard for them to understand that they are temporarily lending their toys and that it will be returned to them.

I was talking to one mother the other day since everytime my daughter goes to her house to play with her child (6 mos older than mine), my daughter always goes for the dolls in the house. The girl will grab them from my daughter leaving her in tears. The mother would shrug and say its her daughter's favourite toys and nothing she can do to make her share. So this time I made sure to have my dd bring her favourite toys that she was playing with most of the week (two little horses, two mini dolls plus her lifesize baby doll). But again my daughter went for the dolls of her playmate and was happily playing with them, nursing them, pushing them around the house and so forth (she is really preparing for the upcoming arrival of our second child).

The playmate would request her doll back (this time she asked) but my daughter refused. I suggested that my daughter give her doll to the playmate, My daughter willingly handed over her own doll but the girl didnt want it, she wanted her own doll.

Then the mother told me that she read in her parenting book that children should be encourage to share their toys but do not have to share their 'favourite' toys. Hmm... I am puzzled by this. I asked my husband later that is even more complicating for the children. How can they associate that its ok to share one type of toys but not the other? To them all their toys are their precious toys, especially if other children are 'invading' their home and playing with all their toys.

When we first arrived, my daughter immediately handed out her 'precious' toys of the week to the two playmates (her horses) and they all had fun with it. I was surprised to see her hand them over so naturally.

Later on when the younger visitor (6 mos younger) grabbed her doll from my daughter (who was then playing with the younger child's doll), first I asked the little one to ask for her doll back and not grab. When my daughter refused, I had to explain that the doll belonged to the girl and she wanted it back. I tried to distract my daughter to another object in the room, but to no avail. I had to choose to have the other girl continue to cry and grab her doll from my daughter or to have my daughter be the one bawling. So I chose the later and pried her grip on the doll and returned back to the rightful owner and took my daughter to another part of the room to look at different toys. (replacing with her own doll didnt work as she didnt want her own, others people's dolls are better).

Curious what others have done or if you have any advice.

Its so hard at this age the battle between playmates and their toys. When the kids come to our home to play, my daughter is naturally 'possessive' of her toys like the playmates are of their toys when we visit their home. But I do encourage her to share her toys with her playmates and I make it a game. If someone is playing with a rocking horse and she runs to it as she decided she wanted to play with it because someone occupied it, I will distract her and explain to her she has to wait till the person is finished and find something else of interest for her to play with. It works in most cases. It is a lot of work parenting this age, but I want my daughter to learn to share her toys. Just hard when I am at other's peoples homes and they dont do the same and encourage their children to share their toys (especially when it comes to dolls and 'favourite' toys).

Thanks for letting me rant and looking forward to what others have to say.

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#2 of 5 Old 01-02-2003, 04:08 AM
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Haven't had too much personal experience, but I have read that if there are favourite toys the kids don't want to share, they should be put away before the visitor arrives. Everything else is fair game. If someone wants something the other one has, they have to wait their turn. This is something they can understand quite early & is not really the same as "sharing", which they don't get until much later.
Maybe you could talk to this mother about putting away any extra-special dolls & have her explain this to her daughter. You don't say how old they are, but dd is almost 2 1/2 & she has understood these concepts quite well for a while now (not to say she's always happy about it ).
Good luck!

Helen wash.gif Homeschooling Mama to Nicola photosmile2.gif 07/00 , Daniel kewl.gif 05/03 & cat.gifX2...and hug.gif with Barry caffix.gif since 08/87
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#3 of 5 Old 01-02-2003, 10:47 AM
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We put away favorite toys before a playdate. There are some toys that our dd has that she just refuses to share. It's one of those things that's better some days and worse others.

From what I remember sharing is a very hard concept for them to grasp, despite young children often being expected to understand it. We manage difficult sharing situations with distraction like you mentioned, and we also do taking turns for things that everyone seems to want to play with.

I agree about talking to the other mom--if those dolls are causing a conflict I would ask that they be put away during the play date.
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#4 of 5 Old 01-02-2003, 12:39 PM
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I also agree that there are certain toys which are too special to share. We discuss these toys and put them away before people come to our house for a playdate - everything else is fair game.

I think it's an important thing to do so that your child does not feel invaded.

I would ask the other mother to put away the dolls or to bring out a timer and use it as a way to signal each girl when her turn to play with the doll is over.

Maddy Moo - 2.5
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#5 of 5 Old 01-02-2003, 02:09 PM
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We also put away special toys before friends come over. It gives them a comfort I think. Some other things that work for us with sharing:

*Ask her how many minutes until she is done. They usually will say some number (doesn't matter). But I am amazed at how many times they play for another 30 seconds, and then just hand the toy over to the friend for their turn.

*I have found that assuring them that they will indeed get another turn is important.

*Find another toy to switch. This doesn't always work, but sometimes it does.
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