Do you allow your kids to have toys they don't share? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 11-08-2011, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a 2yo ds and a 4.5yo dd.  We have sharing issues.  I mostly don't allow them to have things that are exclusively theirs -- most toys are shared no matter whose they are.  Dd tends to freak out (and scream loudly irked.gif) if ds gets something that she says is "too special".  It is not always consistent which items are too special, and she just leaves them lying around, so there's no chance that ds isn't going to get them sometimes.  I have talked to her about keeping special things in her room and closing the door, but she rarely does it.


I often feel like she's just doing that thing of seeing someone else with a toy and thinking "oh, I want to play with that".  I think that too, but I don't snatch it out of the other person's hand.  Am I expecting too much for her to share everything she leaves lying about?  Should I help her to keep some things sacred?  At this point I only take things away from ds if the item or the child is in imminent danger.


Sorry for the ramble.  I'd love to hear your ideas and experiences regarding sharing, etc.

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#2 of 10 Old 11-08-2011, 07:03 AM
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Some things should just be their own but there should be rules about it.  If you want it to be untouched by anyone else you can't leave it around.  We've had this one over and over in our house.  Actually for the longest time nobody had their own toys.  Everything was shared.  As DD1 got older her interests were much different than dd2's so it was a bit easier.  However DD2 is a snatcher and a nonsharer.   Because of this we do tell her she can't have it if she is going to obsess over it.  She's lost numerous toys or have had them put up.  In a household with more than one kid mine and yours simply is too difficult to enforce and really unfair. 


Yours is 4 so you're still dealing with the teaching aspect of it all, even if she's being difficult about it now it doesn't mean she can't learn to keep her valuables put away and/or share.

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#3 of 10 Old 11-08-2011, 08:23 AM
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In our home, none of the toys belong to a certain child other than a small handful of items, and I was very specific about it when they were received to begin with. We have a family toy box, and only shared toys go in it. My DS (15 months) and my DD (6 years) each have a special doll, and they do not have to share them for the most part. As DS is very young and doesn't really get the concept, and DD is old enough to get it, the rules are a little different for him. If he leaves Bebe lying around, DD starts playing with it, and he wants it back, she needs to give it up. With DD's doll, Flower, if she doesn't want her played with, she needs to put her away. It was a little rough to begin with. Lots of shrieking on her part because she was afraid he'd tear up her doll. She stays on top of it now, though. Flower only comes out when DD is playing with her, and then goes back to bed before DD moves on to something else. If she leaves Flower laying around (or in the toy box) and DS goes after her, DD is to wait until he's had his turn before she takes the doll and either plays with her herself or puts her away. At this point she may supervise when that happens, and kindly guide him in how to play with Flower gently. As DD has gotten older, she's also gotten a couple other things that are just hers, and the same rules apply. She does not have the option of deciding on a whim that something is too special to share. Either it's just hers, in which case she needs to put it away if it's not okay for someone else to play with it, or it's a family toy and she needs to share. However, I also try to help her with it. If I notice Flower is out but no one is playing with her, I do point it out to DD. 

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#4 of 10 Old 11-08-2011, 11:57 AM
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Special lovies are not shared. For the first few weeks after a birthday or Christmas, your toys are your toys. other than that, toys are toys. Anybody can play with the doll house, you can't say "those are my legos", all lightsaber colors are open to all, and things like that.



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#5 of 10 Old 11-08-2011, 07:37 PM
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Lovies are not shared and DD1 has a few special toys that she doesn't have to share.  If she wants to play w/them she has to go in her room and shut the door so her sister can't steal them and they go in a closet before company comes over.

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#6 of 10 Old 11-09-2011, 12:52 PM
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I only have one child so far, but my plan with future siblings or playmates is that yes she can have a few special toys that are kept somewhere specific and yes lovies too. Learning to keep track of important possessions and keep them in a safe spot is good practice for the future to not lose keys, wallets, etc. anyway and a good way to learn how to set boundaries. But yeah, I am totally fine with a few possessions being theirs alone, but not everything and not toys that are just left lying about all the time or toys that are for general everyone play (legos, dollhouse, etc.)

Growing up we had a spot in our rooms (shared bedrooms) where we could keep our personal stuff, everything else was in the upstairs toy room, basement, etc. and was shared stuff.

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#7 of 10 Old 11-10-2011, 06:01 AM
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one kid so far, but with friends and in general, for us, the answer is no. 

the only thing she's not supposed to share is a toothbrush. 

when child 2 arrives, if there seems to be fragile or tiny stuff that would be dangerous, it will get put away where neither of them can access it. 

so far, though, it works well-- there are no arguments with other kids about playing with toys, etc.  she is a good sharer at this point.

Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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#8 of 10 Old 11-11-2011, 05:18 AM
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Yes, they have toys that are not shared. Not many but I believe that just because they are siblings doesn't mean that they are not entitled to have a few belongings that is solely theirs. I don't have to share my iPad with someone if I don''t want to, why it is different just because they are kids. Now I do not allow every toy to be special. The vast majority of things are shared with all the kids and any other kid that ends up in my house, I have 4 of my own so we have other children running around often! If we are having a planned playdate and I know one child of mine has a difficult time sharing then I ask them if there are a handful of toys that they would like to put away. All other toys left out are fair game. My girls each have a collection in their room that is hands off. Could be shells, rocks, American Girl dolls. Anything that is on top of DD1's dresser is her's only and DD2 has a wooden box that holds her items. They know that if something isn't in those spots then it can be played with by anyone. And when the 2.5y plays with it, it might not look like it did before... Good lesson to keep their important stuff put away. 

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#9 of 10 Old 11-11-2011, 11:42 AM
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My kids are older,13 and 10 but they both have things they do not have to share with anyone.Dd's ipod,her simpsons and south park collections.For ds,it's his sonic the hedgehog toys,and of course they both still have lovies(dd's changes by the day,lol,but her favorite teddy has a place on my bed,and she doesn't have to let anyone play with him,and ds doesn't have to let anyone play with his thomas the train blankies,not that anyone really wants to touch those lol!).Everything else is shared.Video games,dvds,and any other toys.I have my own stuff that is only mine,so they should too.The only time everything was shared was when they were little,like 2 and 5.We had a play room then.We don't have too many kids over,except my niece who is here often.She's 7,and I tell dd and ds if they don't want her touching something,put it away where she can't get to it.

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#10 of 10 Old 11-11-2011, 06:25 PM
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My kids are 4 and 7 and they definitely each have things that are "their own".  For the most part those things are kept in their own rooms.  Both kids are obsessed with Playmobil and have a fair amount of "shared" playmobil, but then they each have a couple or few sets bought with birthday money that they don't have to share (though are encouraged to share!).  They also have lovies, some other special bits-and-bobs, sticker collections, Pokemon cards, etc.  Besides that activity books are kept as separate possessions (they're at different "levels" anyway).


All other toys are made available for all kids (including guests).  We have Legos, trains, plastic animals, dress-up clothes, art and craft supplies, balls, play food, etc, etc.

Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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