Sharing with siblings - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 08-31-2009, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've always told DS (3 y/o) that he doesn't have to share his belongings if he doesn't want to (he does have to share toys that don't belong to him though). But now we have a problem--he doesn't want to share with his baby sister (5 mo.). He won't let her have any of his toys (which is totally understandable, as she chews on them), and he has a habit of taking the few toys that belong to her (teethers, stuffed animals) away from her.

While I would love to be able to keep letting DS decide which of his toys he wants to share, we are not going to buy all new toys for DD. He's going to have to share eventually. So what do we do?

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#2 of 11 Old 08-31-2009, 11:36 PM
 
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At our house we have a toys area. Those are toys for everyone. Then the kids each have a shelf in their room for their "special things" things that are important to them and that they do not have to share. And the kids are allowed to play with their special stuff in their room, so they wont be bothered by siblings.

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#3 of 11 Old 09-01-2009, 12:35 AM
 
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We have a similar age spread over here. I try not to let them take toys away from each other, esp not DS1 from DS2. Now DS1 is 4 and he's a pretty mellow and reasonable guy, I tell him he doesn't have to share his toys, but if I'm unavailable to distract the baby I'll ask him to take one for the team and share anyway. So far, so good. But if I'm available, I'll redirect and make a big deal about DS2 not taking things from DS1. I've also taught DS1 to trade toys, so if the baby has something he wants, he can trade another toy for it and if the baby goes for it, that works very well.

RE: the baby toys, I pretty much put my foot down that some things are for the baby. But IME the novelty passes quickly--how much fun can a teether be, y/k? We went through big bro wanting the baby items, but he got through it pretty fast. I think toy sharing is going to be an ongoing issue here, so I'm trying to foster the attitude that the toys are communal, so ownership/possession is for the moment.
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#4 of 11 Old 09-01-2009, 02:54 AM
 
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We have more of a communal philosophy in our home. Everything is free for everyone. There has been a FEW things that are this person's or that person's. But, usually it is, "nothing is yours or mine, it is ours". The reasoning for this is because we have children that can eventually wear each other clothing. The toys are communal, but usually, they deal with what is their age level. If the child buys it, then it is theirs. Only the boys have "their" room, out of necessity. But, it is still our house.

It has been easier with each child to share, since they have never known any different. Since oldest DS was in daycare for a while, we never had a sharing issue. However, there is usually an issue with the next older sibling taking from the younger toddler just to hear them scream.:

I think that he is pretty young to really understand sharing. Teach him sympathy, and when the baby gets upset that her toy was taken, he will likely hand it back to her. Trading is always a good option. Some retraining will be the best approach if you want them to successfully share and get along over the long haul. And, it will be a good for him as he gets older.

Although, you could always give him the "boy toys" and get her "girl toys" and then they have a His and Hers situation, and no squabbles are necassary. Although, I say that with tongue in cheek, because that would fly like a brick around here. My 20 mo old boy loves baby dolls as much as he likes his trash truck, and he REALLY likes trash trucks. LOL

It will get better as he is likely to play with her more than just beside her, then they can roll the ball back and forth and the like. That teaches sharing and taking turns. You might help her do this with him, and then he can learn the concept. Kymberli
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#5 of 11 Old 09-01-2009, 08:01 AM
 
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At that age we encouraged them to have separate toys, DD was starting to get things with smaller pieces which we did not want her giving to DS and she didn't want her toys chewed. That seemed to work OK.

As they got older and were playing with the same toys we hve moved more towards communal toys. We bought DS toys which went with the "sets" DD already had (eg duplo, little people, kitchen stuff) that seems to have helped them feel the set belongs to both of them.

We don't insist toys are shared straight away but if you don't want it to be played with keep it in your room.

We have ended up with 2 of some things, magna doodles and things they like to use together.
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#6 of 11 Old 09-01-2009, 02:39 PM
 
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We do a lot of the "trading" too...if you don't want her to have your red car, offer her a blue one that she CAN have. If squabbling escalates, or someone starts misusing the toy to get it to themselves (like hitting with it, etc.), I will actually take the toy away from both and put it in "toy time out" for the rest of the day. They each have some "special" things that are just for them too, like DD has ponies and DS has certain trains. I don't make them share those. Another tactic we have used to take turns is to set the timer and one kid gets it for 5 minutes, then the other one gets a turn for 5 minutes. Usually by then they both have moved on to something else. With an older kid and an infant, it is good for the older kid to have a spot where they can play with their own stuff that could be dangerous for the little one or just that the little one is not really old enough to join in with. I would let DS do playdoh or puzzles at the kitchen table for instance while baby DD played on the floor. It is not easy being referee, but now at 4 and 6.5 they do play pretty well together most of the time.

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#7 of 11 Old 09-01-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyKelly View Post
At our house we have a toys area. Those are toys for everyone. Then the kids each have a shelf in their room for their "special things" things that are important to them and that they do not have to share. And the kids are allowed to play with their special stuff in their room, so they wont be bothered by siblings.
This is exactly what we do. My girls are 16 months apart so they have a LOT of toys they share, but they also keep their special ones in their rooms and they know and respect that...most of the time.

~ SAHM with two girls (3/9/06) and (7/1/07) and always remembering my angel (3/17/06)~
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#8 of 11 Old 09-01-2009, 03:19 PM
 
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all toys in our home are community property. They all get/will get shared. DD1 has one special baby doll that I don't imagine her sharing too well and I think we will work around that, but other than that we have just never put much emphasis on toys which has helped this whole philosophy. We don't have a lot or buy a lot- and when she does want a new toy, an old one is donated. For the most part though her "toys" have been our cups and spoons and plates that she pretended with. She does a lot of artwork and such as well.

IMO- I would let him have several toys that are just his and tell him that the rest are family toys and if they can't share them adequately then no one will play with them.

Blessed with two BEAUTIFUL little girls: Kylie (09/06) and Maggie (4/09) :
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#9 of 11 Old 09-01-2009, 04:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jillmamma View Post
We do a lot of the "trading" too...if you don't want her to have your red car, offer her a blue one that she CAN have. If squabbling escalates, or someone starts misusing the toy to get it to themselves (like hitting with it, etc.), I will actually take the toy away from both and put it in "toy time out" for the rest of the day. They each have some "special" things that are just for them too
That is exactly what we do too - most of the toys are communal. And they do lots of trading. However, the kiddos are allowed to determine if a toy is "too special" to them to share right now. Usually that "specialness" wears off after a week or so, then they are willing to share. But they do have the option of keeping favorite things to themselves.

ETA - we also have toy time out, it works well! If they can't come to a resolution and continue to fight over a toy, it goes into toy time out. My kiddos are 3 and 5.5
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#10 of 11 Old 09-01-2009, 09:50 PM
 
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When a child first gets a toy for a gift, it is theirs to decide to share or not for a little bit. Pretty soon, though, 95% of toys become joint property. The kids each have the option of putting away something of theirs if they really don't want to share, but that is rare. If one of them is playing with their toy in a way that worries them, they have the option of stopping it. Ds1 has a special book that he doesn't like ds2 to have (and granted, ds2 did scribble on the cover one time ), so I always make sure that goes in ds1's personal "collection."
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#11 of 11 Old 09-02-2009, 03:19 PM
 
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We started referring to almost everything as "family toys" when I was pregnant with DD so that DS wouldn't think everything was his and his alone. Certain toys are his special toys that he doesn't have to share, but I also don't allow him to sit and play with those right in front of DD -- he has the option to go play with them in his room or put them away and play with them during her nap.

I just can't spend my entire day policing toy use, so having his toys and her toys just isn't feasible for us, for the most part.

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