How do you divide belongings between kids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-26-2007, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Bf's 4 yo dd lives with us 1/2 time. Any day now, she will have a baby brother. They will share a room (He will sleep with us for now, but a crib will go in the room when he is older. His clothes, toys and baby gear are in the room). We recently moved into this apartment, so she has always know that this particular room is hers and Rex-Goliath's.

They are far enough apart where I am guessing there will not be much toy overlap. Most of her toys are too little for him to safely play with for years. I also wouldn't want her to resent her little brother, so I have no intention of *making* her share her toys with him. If she wants to, that is her business. If it is something that we purchase for the family (games), we will make it pretty clear that it is a family item.

This issue comes with her playing with his toys. For the most part, I could care less. But, my mom bought him a stuffed animal that I would like to keep nice until he is able to play with it. Over the weekend she found it and was chewing on it. I think that she thinks it is hers now (It was in a small bin filled with his new baby toys). If it were any other toy, I probably wouldn't feel as strongly, but it is his first stuffed animal from my mom. Stuffed animals were a big deal in my house growing up. It seems unfair that she can mistreat his toys when I wouldn't let him do that to hers. It seems like a bad precedent to set. Also, she has a whole tribe of stuffed animals of her own. It is not like she is lacking.

There is a big part of me that wants to wash it (it is all crusty now) and hide it while bf and dd are gone today. But what do I say when she asks where it is? And what to I tell bf? I could see a MAJOR tantrum happening when the toy disappears (everything is a major tantrum around here, but that is another story).

Compared to most of the other problems on this board, I know this is a trivial one. In fact, it may just be past-my-due-date-crazy-pregnant-lady hormones that are provoking this. I know it is just a toy, but maybe it's that I need some confirmation that our son will be as important to bf as his daughter is to him, and to me that means having his own belongings.

Am I nuts? How do you all handle this in your houses?


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#2 of 5 Old 02-26-2007, 01:28 PM
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Hope you don't mind me jumping in because I am not a step mom, but I do have 3 kids close in age & lots of shared toys.

The animal she already found, did she know it was his or was it just a new toy in her room? Kids attach to the strangest things (not that the animal is strange, just that I find once they attach to something it can be hard to explain it's not "theirs"). One of my dds attached to my parents' dog's toy. We washed it and it's hers now .

If you can get the special thing away without her noticing or becoming a major issue I would do that. Is it a unique item or could you possibly find a replacement? If you can't replace it, I would just sit with bf and sd and explain as well as you could that X was a special present for the baby from your mom, and just like her Y is very special to her, so X will be special to the baby. Apoligize you left it out and didn't make it clear, but say it's the baby's and when he comes she can show it to h im and give it to him to cuddle etc.

As far as a general thing, each of my kids has a couple of special things. Rena adopted a tele tuby from my friend's kids, and N. has the above mentioned dog toy . They also have babies and dolls that are their special loveys, which are not shared unless the owner shares them. Oh, and they each have a doll stroller, I think that is it as far as individual possesions. All our general toys are for everyone. I think in your case, I woudl make a special shelf or area of the closet for each child. She can put her special toys there, and you can put his special toys in his area.

Good luck


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#3 of 5 Old 02-26-2007, 01:37 PM
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Take her shopping for an animal of her own and wash the one she chewed on or you could explain to your mom that she attached to the one she already got for the baby and ask her to get the baby another one. That way you still have a special toy for the baby from your mom and you don't have to fight over the old one. Just make sure to hide the new one or make it very clear to her that the new one is for the baby.
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#4 of 5 Old 02-27-2007, 03:06 PM
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I hide some things, like things that my son chews on. Other things, I have kind of gotten over. But I really understand where you are coming from, I went through the same thing when I was pregnant. I have a step-son that lives with us half the time and he always wants to play with his little brother's toys before anyone.

mom to sam arlo (5), olive loretta (3)....and twin girls Annie and Ramona Jean, born 3/10.

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#5 of 5 Old 02-28-2007, 10:47 AM
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Wash it and hide it. Say nothing. Perhaps she will not even notice.

I don't believe that she set out to mistreat the stuffed toy. She is 4. They still chew on things at that age.

Quite frankly, I bet she is feeling kind of put out. I mean, kids have a hard enough time with younger sibs. But this one is going to get to live with Daddy while she visits. That has got to be hard, even for a little 4 yr old.

I am not fussing at you. I would not want to be in your situation. It has to be tough on you too, having to deal with another person's child. But, one thing stuck out in your post:

"I know it is just a toy, but maybe it's that I need some confirmation that our son will be as important to bf as his daughter is to him, and to me that means having his own belongings."

Are there other issues in this regard other than the toy? Why would you think that your son would not be as important as his daughter? I have three kids and I love them ALL. There is enough love to go around, I promise.

Good luck Mama. Take care of you.
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