how would you manage this? 2 year old, sharing. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-11-2010, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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A typical scenario... On Sunday, I took DD & her bike to play with a friend, A, who lives nearby. They are both weeks away from turning 2. Both kids wanted to ride on A's bike. A was happy to take turns with DD (it was HIS bike). DD was not happy to take turns - she wanted it the whole time. A's mother & I insisted on clearly defined turns ("at that lamp-post it will be A's turn again... at that tree it will be DD's turn...") but DD screamed blue murder every minute she was not on the bike, & had to be peeled off it finger nail by finger nail.

I know that sharing is a slowly learned concept, & that many here think it should not be forced... but DD is very strong willed & stubborn & if left to her own devices will completely dominate in any situation.... I know part of it is the age but I feel like I'm really struggling to manage her behaviour. Would love thoughts/feedback.
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#2 of 7 Old 05-11-2010, 12:47 PM
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She sounds like a normal toddler. I think helping kids share is a great way to help them understand sharing, but if your dd is crying for an entire playdate and constantly needing to be pried off of something then I think that she needs some space from her friend in her own home where her things don't have to be shared. You can teach sharing without it being a trying ordeal for everyone concerned. At that age I would encourage you to have her share something like food rather than something that there is only one of. Eventually she will learn to share and take turns through practice and seeing sharing modeled. If she continues to have a miserable time at play dates then I think you should limit the playdates. Sharing isn't something that kids do on a frequent basis until they are much older and always having negative experiences with sharing isn't going to help her to want to share any faster.
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#3 of 7 Old 05-11-2010, 01:13 PM
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Shes not even two yet? I would think she cant even see past the obvious right now. I.e., she wants to ride the bike THIS SECOND, and can't because someone else is. TOtally normal, IMO.

My 2.5 year old is JUST NOW begining to understand sharing with his 1.5 year old brother. It has taken ALOT of blood, sweat and tears, but the most helpful tactic I found with my son is redirection OR a trade. When Matthew wants something Charlie is playing with, I will instruct Charlie to find something his brother would like to play with instead, OR tell Charlie its Matthews turn now, why don't you play with X toy. Hes really only starting to get the concept of TURNS. And hes not quite 3.

So maybe for a playdate, have her bring her bike and another toy she likes, and then this way her and her friend can try going back and forth between the two toys. If that doesnt work, I would back off the playdates, or atleast not bring the bike anymore.

Another thing that I have seen that might help, when Im stopped at a stoplight. My son says,"GO MAMA!", I tell him I cant, I have to wait my turn.
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#4 of 7 Old 05-11-2010, 02:06 PM
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She just needs to keep practicing. At age two, it feels like "you are taking it", not "it's your turn". She's acting normal. But, repetition is the only way.

Maybe next time, give more time to each child. Like two times back and forth, then it's A's turn for two times.

I have kids in my daycare who will dominate every situation. It gets harder if you don't step in. When you aren't looking, the dominant child thinks up clever ways to keep or get a toy. I have a four year old that can manipulate almost every part of the day to her advantage. It's exhausting to keep up with it.

But, by you knowing she's strong, and caring about the feelings of others, this will make it so much easier for her to learn to take turns. She's still young now, but she will understand soon, and it won't be so hard.

Beware the traps I see parents falling into.... I have kids who will come over, and want a toy that someone is using. Then a parent will ask the other child "Can you share that with Bobby?"

Which means "I want you to give your toy to this other kid, because as you can clearly see the world revolves around him, and not you".

Or the parent who makes the older sibling give a toy to the younger sibling, so he doesn't cry. I (as the provider/teacher) don't really care if the younger sibling cries.... when the one who had it first is all done, then the other child can have it. The day is very long, there will be lots of chances to play with a toy.
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#5 of 7 Old 05-11-2010, 09:48 PM
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Yeah, definitely sounds normal! I would say try to give her the chance to decide when she's ready to let someone else have a turn. And whenever possible, don't force her to share or to take turns. Obviously if it's someone else's bike, then she can't sit on it the whole time, but if it's her bike, I would give her the option NOT to take turns. And if she's in the middle of using a toy and someone else wants it, I don't force DD to give it up just because somebody wants it. I don't have to give DH the computer when I'm in the middle of using it just because he happens to walk up, so why should kids have to give up a toy the minute somebody else is interested in it? If my DD is playing with something and another kid wants it, I say to her, "So-and-so wants to play with that; do you want to give him a turn when you're done with it? You finish your turn first and take your time." It took some practice, but now she usually gives it to them happily, often right away. (Of course, she also expects it back almost right away, which is a little harder to enforce...)

Mama to DD, my 2/24/08 BIG KID formerly known as sling baby, and DS, my 12/23/11 train-loving, wall-climbing toddler! 
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#6 of 7 Old 05-11-2010, 11:33 PM
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Since there were two bikes there (your dd's and A's) I would have explained to her the first fit that she had, that if taking turns is too hard for her than she could only use her own bike and that A would only use his bike. If she continued crying we'd go home. No point in being at a playdate where she's miserable. On the other hand I don't personally like forcing turn taking for children that young. They really need to be allowed to take as much time as they want with an item. Prying them off before they're ready to be done just makes them angry and doesn't help them want to share. When my dd was that age I rarely "made" her take turns. I would talk to her about how other children were feeling ("he's sad because he really wants a turn"), I'd remind her that someone else was waiting, and finally I'd ask her how many more minutes she needed before her turn was over. At 2 she loved having me set the timer on my iphone, for however long she decided and then she usually would gladly end her turn when the timer went off.

Next time you go I would just explain ahead of time that each child will ride their own bikes. If the same problem comes up with other toys, it's a good idea to bring your own (truck, doll etc) You can't always bring an extra of everything though and in that case I would go by the rule that the child who is using the toy gets to use it until they feel they are done with it (my daughter was always able to end her turns much quicker when she didn't feel pressured) and the other child can be taught to express their desire for a turn ("May I have a turn when you're done?") and then be helped to find an alternate toy or activity while they wait.

Jennifer, mama to darling dancing Juliette, and sweet baby Jameson
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#7 of 7 Old 05-12-2010, 11:59 PM
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Totally normal. We do taking turns a lot, too, b/c it is an easy introduction to more complicated sharing. It also teaches kids that it is okay to use and enjoy something when it is in their possession. It is v difficult when it is your child who is pitching the fit & doesn't want to share, but keep repeating and make sure the other kid gets his turn & it will eventually sink in


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