My almost 5 year old DD in general has become a very loving and nurturing big sister to our 20 month old DS. However, now that DS is interested in toys and things that are my "daughters" toys, she is having a lot of trouble sharing pretty much anything. For instance DD has animal figurines that she likes to play with. They were laying on the floor since she was playing with a different toy and DS picked up a lion to play with. She immediately went over to him and yelled "That's mine, NO!" and tried to grab it out of his hands. They both started crying, screaming, etc. I tried to intervene by telling her that he will probably only play with it for a minute and then give be tired of it and she can have it if she wants. She insisted that it was her toy and kept trying to grab it from him. I suggested that she try to give him a different toy to see if he would "switch" with her but he did not want to, so the screaming continued.
This basic scenario happens repeatedly every day. It seems that no matter what toy DS picks up, DD immediately needs it, even when it is an object that is supposedly "his" toy such as a train that we gave him for his birthday, etc. I have tried to explain to her many times that all of the toys in the house are for sharing and that she wants him to share with her, etc. I realize that it is normal for her to have trouble sharing at times, and she is still adjusting to having a sibling to share with. I feel torn because I don't want her to think we side with him all the time but at the same time, it is not right for her to constantly take toys away from him. Recently, I have given her a couple "time outs" for it after warning her not to take something out of his hands, but I just don't feel like I have a good way of dealing with the problem.
Does anyone have any suggestions? I would greatly appreciate the help!
Happy Mommy to a wonderful daughter and son!
We only had that for a very short time (mine are 11 and 6, so similar age diff.) and I made all the toys, except for very special things, belong to the family. Of course dd could play with the blocks, they belong to all of us! Just keep repeating "share" and "take turns". It will click eventually.
Something that always worked with my ds was explaining to him that of course the baby wants everything you have. Sort of like an inside joke between us. YOU are the coolest person the baby knows, the awesome big brother. So if you have it OF COURSE they want it too because if you like it, clearly it's the coolest thing EVER. So if we were playing ball or something I would make a joke that dd was coming for the ball, but don't forget she will only play with it for a minute and go find something new, so just relax and let her have it and it will be yours again shortly. Teaching ds how babies and toddlers worked was really helpful for him.
I would make some rules about special toys. I would allow her to pick 2-3 special toys that she doesn't want her brother using. Keep them on a shelf where he can't get to them. If she wants to play with those toys, she can take them down and use them at the table or in another room, and you'll help divert her brother. (When he's older, do the same for him.)
The key is, then that anything else is community property and she can't grab it out of his hands. If she decides something else is 'special', then one of the special toys needs to come off the shelf for him to play with. (He'll be happy because it's new!)
The other thing that worked well for our ds, who was 4 1/2 when dd was 20 months is to teach them to trade. At 20 months, the toddler often doesn't care which toy. So when ds was building with track and needed a piece that dd had, he needed to find one that she was willing to trade for. This worked great until dd hit 24 months and suddenly had an opinion about everything. Sigh, she's 7 and still has an opinion on everything!
I have a 4 1/2 year old daughter and a 25 month old son so I definitely have seen my share of this.
In our home there are certain toys that belong only in my daughter's room (most have small pieces or are very special to her). The toys in her room are for her to play with only and brother cannot go in her room without permission. He seems to understand this and most of the time doesn't try to force his way in unless he is being rambunctious lol.
In our playroom all the toys are to be shared. Some were given to her and some to her brother, but regardless they do not "belong" to one single person. This has worked really well for us as even if we move toys from the bedroom to the playroom and add new toys to the bedroom, she still understands and is okay with the fact that any toy located in the playroom is for everyone. When we moved to a new home some toys moved from her bedroom to the playroom and it was explained that those were now shared toys.
However, she is free to move a toy to the bedroom for some privacy if her brother is being destructive, as long as she eventually returns it to the playroom after playing with it. I think respecting her right to have some things to herself and also to have her own space and privacy when needed has really helped her with sharing. This is not to say that my kids never argue over toys, but the fact that we are very strict about how they treat each other and that includes being fair and sharing, lessens this greatly.
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