Following from the sensitivity thread - how would you all handle a situation where a child has taken something from your child? Frequently, other children (sometimes younger and sometimes older) will take something from my 2.5-year-old ds (he's not exactly passive, but seems to think that when other children take something that they're doing it so that they can play with it together - makes for many a rude awakening). He gets very upset when he realizes that they're not coming back and I don't quite know how to handle it. I don't want to teach him to go over and yank it back - and we're often dealing with children who don't communicate as well as he does or are not as willing to just give things up, so asking for it back doesn't accomplish anything. I also don't want him to think that it's all right to just allow someone to yank something from you....
What would you do?
I would follow him closely in these situations, and loudly say, "Oops! He wasn't finished with that yet! Please give it back and we'll give you a turn soon."
He's too little to stand-up for himself. But if he hears your diplomatic words, he'll learn that is the way to handle it. Gradually, as he becomes more verbal, you can let him take over on his own behalf.
Just what I would do though -- not necessarily correct.
My son is a little over 2.5 years old, and I have taught him to approach a child and ask for the toy he was still using. He will almost alway try it, as long as I am close by. I will gladly step in to help him out if his request does not yield the desired effect, but I feel strongly that he should know that though he is still little, he and his words are powerful. Another motivating factor behind my doing this is that my son is in a child care situation, and I am obviously not there with him, so I wanted to teach him the skills he would need to advocate for himself. I started modeling this for him when he was only about 1 year old, and by the time he turned 2, I encouraged him gently to tell kids on the playground if he wanted his toys back. Perhaps becuase he gets the opportunity for lots of practice with children he does know well, he is more comfortable approaching a child he doesn't know.
Thank you both for your ideas - I'm definitely going to put them to good use! Teachma, what you said about wanting your ds to understand that his words have power even though he is little really struck a chord with me. He is very hot and cold socially (sometimes very outgoing and gregarious, sometimes very reserved -- unfortunately, I think he's inherited his mother's lack of consistency
: ), so he is sometimes receptive to this sort of initiative and sometimes not. I think, though, if I can model this for him (rather than letting it go, as I usually do, and helping him to move onto something else - which always feels so wrong
to me) then he may start feeling a little more consistently solid in these sorts of situations.....
Food for thought... thanks again