step kids sharing vs having own items - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 08-16-2014, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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step kids sharing vs having own items

An interesting dynamic in blending families, what is offs limits to share vs what to share? Right now we all the girls toy mixed together essentially taking away any individual items but the t2 three year olds still know what is theirs vs what is not. Overall they are doing very well sharing. Should we just teach them to share all their toys? Do we allow them to have presidence over their own items? Neither are really attached to any certain toys except a couple stuffed animals etc.

Clothes and shoes are much easier, though dp's 3 year old has gotten my dd's clothes several times and put them on, I have told her each time they are dd's and we need to wear our own clothes, but purses, sunglasses and hair accessories? My dd has hair bows, hair clips etc and my DP's dd's do not, and they are getting jealous of her hair items. I told them we will get them some of their own, isn't this the best solution?. I only have 1 dd and 1 ds 5 years apart, I am not used to having children like the same things!
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#2 of 4 Old 08-16-2014, 12:57 PM
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At three, I see no problem with sharing clothes, purses, hair accessories. Toys too, except for special things like stuffies.
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#3 of 4 Old 08-16-2014, 06:59 PM
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I agree. I don't have step-children of an age to be sharing things but DD1 (age 4) and her friends always swap clothes when they're playing.

I do think that it would be nice to get DSD some hair things though, if she's the only one who doesn't have any. It's one thing to swap and share but another thing to be always at the mercy of someone else's willingness to share.
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#4 of 4 Old 08-20-2014, 09:15 AM
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Your kids are pretty little. I'd guide them toward working this out on their own, as they get older, by doing what it sounds like you're already doing: paying attention to what matters to them and what doesn't.

If, for example, one daughter's hair bows seem special to her and being forced to share them would make her resent her step-sister, then you should buy the step-sister her own hair bows (so she doesn't feel slighted) and give the girls private areas to keep their bows (to minimize their temptation to take each other's). When they're older, you should ask them to consider that if they were both open to sharing, each of them would have twice the hair bow selection to choose from. But if they never latch onto the advantage of that, you shouldn't breed resentment by forcing them to share. You should set - and stick to - a reasonable per-child hair bow budget. The same goes for clothes.

When we first "blended", my twin sons shared a bedroom, my step-son had his own and they had a communal Play Room. The twins, of course, were used to sharing everything and kept all their toys in the Play Room. Before DH and I married, DSS had lived as an only child with his mom. Naturally, he wanted access to everything in the Play Room, but kept all his toys in his bedroom and did not share them. This annoyed me, but it was also understandable.

Later, one of the twins got a magic show set for Christmas that he'd been wanting for a while. He kept it in his room - a habit he had picked up from DSS and the recurrent disappointment of never being welcome to check out his toys. One weekend when the twins were at their dad's, I found my step-son and his friend in the twins' room, playing with the magic set. My son would not have been terribly upset about this. Nevertheless, I told DSS gently but firmly that he needed to respect the twins' privacy, just as he wanted them to respect his and never touch anything in his room. It was clearly eye-opening for DSS. I can't say it totally changed his personality, but after that he did make more of an effort to share with the twins, especially if there was something he wanted them to share with him. Before that, it just never occurred to him that there ought to be any quid pro quo. And that natural lesson went over a lot better than if I had forced DSS to share his toys, earlier.

With expensive things, I think it's perfectly acceptable to insist on sharing. For example (when your kids are older): "If all of you would like an XBox, Dad and I will consider buying one at Christmastime. But we can't afford - and don't think it would be reasonable - for each of you to have one that you can keep in your own room or take to your other parent's house on the weekends. There will be one XBox in our home, for any child who is here to use."

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