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<p>My 18 month old often plays with her nine month old cousin.  She can be very possessive of toys and frequently grabs things away from him just because he has them.  She can often be distracted and I try to explain to her that the baby can also play with the toys and how about you play with this truck, ect...  In the interest of full disclosure, she also bonked him on the head today with a play phone. </p>
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<p>Well, my sister is starting to make a big deal out of this.  I guess she feels her little guy is being picked on.  She jumps out of her seat "oh no she didn't" and grabs the toy away from DD.  I would like to try and avoid then wrestling the toy away from DD, because  that is the behavior we are trying to correct.  I am feeling like these play dates have become stressful because of the need to discuss every little incident and how, yes, it is normal, but we have to figure out a way to address so she learns to share.  I guess now I feel like they are implying that she is becoming a brat.</p>
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<p>I would love some suggestions for dealing with this in a matter of fact way.  The truth is, they mostly get along very well and in 2 hours, there are maybe three instances of toy snatching.  The issue seems to be between my sister and I.  I do intervene every time, and mostly sit on the floor with them to try and head off problems. </p>
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<p>Any suggestions?</p>
 

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<p>It sounds like you are already doing what you can - is your sister open to you trying to educate her - 18 m is SO FAR away from being able to share - ANY success you get at this age has more to do with the child's temperament then any learned behavior or parenting style. You are SO right that snatching the toy away from the child is only reinforcing the very behavior you are seeking to correct - does your sister not see that? At this point a 9 month old is so easily redirected it often works to try the "trade" technique - if the 18 month old wants something she needs to give something - but even still she is SO young to be able to grasp this, let alone do it, that it is model model model... so keep at it and see if you can try and educate your sister - if not she will be on the other end of this equation soon enough -</p>
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<p>I went to visit best friend  for a week when my dd was 28 months and her's was just a year - suffice it to say it was really difficult and she told me I needed to read a parenting book (despite the fact that I had been a parent educator for YEARS) It could have ended our friendship but I stayed cool, wrote her a thoughtful and educational letter and knew that in time she would come to understand - and that's exactly what happened - we laugh about it now and she admits "I didn't have a clue"</p>
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<p>So try and educate her, be patient, and don't take her criticism personally and know in a few short months she'll have a much better understanding - and maybe what you say now will not sink in until them.... good luck</p>
 

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<p>I completely agree with bonamarq. I just don't see how expecting an 18-month old to choose to share her toys with another child, or understand more sophisticated methods of toy acquisition (what is she going to do? bargain with the 9 month old?) is going to turn out any differently. I also do not think that I would stand for an adult grabbing toys from my toddler, even if they didn't approve of the way she got the toy. I do empathize, though, with the intensity of feelings we mamas sometimes have when we see our child "wronged" in some way.</p>
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Maybe there's some way that you can just be more involved and take action before the other mama gets there? When DD was that age, honestly I just really supervised play time with other children. I'd be down on the floor with them and would try to intercept DD's grabs by distracting with another toy, quickly offering a replacement toy to the other child, or if things were getting really tense, distract DD by offering a new activity, etc, etc, etc.</p>
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<p>The only other option is probably to just explain your approach to your friend, as bonamarq suggested. Start with a statement of empathy, maybe, but explain what you think is age-appropriate behavior, let her know how/why you like to deal with these situations in a non-aggressive way, maybe?</p>
 

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<p>The problem is the age difference. Your 18 month old looks huge and competent to your sister, while her 9 month old is still a baby. In reality, neither one is in a position to be able to share. It sounds like you're doing a lot -- sitting next to them, preventing and redirecting. I would enforce giving the toy back to the baby, because I don't think it's fair to let her get away with it. I can see where that would upset your sister. The question is how to get it back to the baby without snatching it back. </p>
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<p>I'd also try to teach her to trade. If the baby has something she wants, she has to give him something else to play with. The beauty of a 9 month old is that they don't usually have a very long attention span. But an 18 month old is quite young to teach this, as someone else has pointed out.</p>
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<p>Alas, it's going to get worse before it gets better. When your nephew is learning to walk, your dd will be running. She'll probably run him over more than once. But then, he'll start to snatch toys too, and she'll see it's age, not the child. By the time they're both 3, things'll look up. Until then, it might be better to keep visits shorter, explain to your sister what you're doing and why. You might also think of taking your playdates and making them excursions for a while. If they aren't in each other's homes, there will be less of a chance for fighting over toys. You might also think of buying 2 of the really coveted toys.</p>
 

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<p>I think your sister is going to learn as her child gets older that kids don't know how to share until lots later than 18mo.  I don't know when, b/c we're still working on it at 23mo (although it has gotten mildly better).</p>
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<p>I agree with pp that your 18mo looks SO GROWN UP compared to the 9mo - they are worlds different and at very different developmental stages - but neither is ready to learn, and be able to share independently yet.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<p> I do think the age difference is the problem, DD hardly looks like a baby next to my little nephew.  I am going to talk to her and explain why I don't want toys wrestled from my daughter in the name of teaching her to share.  I will also work on the trading concept, understanding that she may not be ready to utilize it.  And the idea about excursions is wonderful, we have talked about taking them different fun places together, but have never planned anything. </p>
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<p>Thanks for all your great suggestions.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>quietmim</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282484/18-month-old-sharing#post_16084057"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> I do think the age difference is the problem, DD hardly looks like a baby next to my little nephew.  I am going to talk to her and explain why I don't want toys wrestled from my daughter in the name of teaching her to share.  <strong>I will also work on the trading concept, understanding that she may not be ready to utilize it.</strong>  And the idea about excursions is wonderful, we have talked about taking them different fun places together, but have never planned anything. </p>
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<p>Thanks for all your great suggestions.</p>
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<p>I think the bolded is a great idea, and if you can get your sister involved it would be even better.  So, 18mo takes something from the baby, and one of you says, "Oh, if you want to trade with the baby thats so great!!  What toy do you think the baby wants now?"  While picking up a toy the 9mo would want to play with, and helping the 18mo give it to to the 9mo.  Your 18mo probably will not be able to do this herself for a while, but she'll probably start to understand pretty soon - IME babies understand alot more than we give them credit for!  That doesn't mean they are ready to implement stuff on their own, they just understand more language than they can use themselves<br>
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<p>You could try putting away the regular toys during playdates and having lots of something the same out (a bin of blocks, a bunch of boxes to push around, lots of soft balls, etc.), at least teo for each kid.  That worked well when we had co-op with 4 kids ages 6-24 months playing in same small space regularly.</p>
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<p>Or just keep the soft toys out so the bonking on the head doesn't hurt!</p>
 
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