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<p>My DS is almost 2 1/2 and has 3 month old twin sisters. We had a situation yesterday, and have been having it lately and I want to know if I'm being overly defensive or if my expectations are more accurate. DS isn't very good at sharing. He goes in spurts with his current trend being unwilling to share special toys with other children. I'm inclined to feel he shouldn't HAVE to share things he considers special to him. Usually he's really great at sharing most toys but there are a few he absolutely won't... and I've noticed that when he's done playing with a toy with another child he takes it and puts it 'away' (also known as hidden because if he's done, they're done in his eyes) This is a work in progress obviously... but in my eyes he's doing great for his age. I feel my IL's (who I adore so this is NOT an  IL rant) really ride him on his unwillingness to share his favorite toys and expect him to share at all times.</p>
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<p>Last night I think we put him into a bad situation stopping there on the way home because the family wanted to see the girls (some of the aunts hadn't seen them in 2 months and everyone was together) We had a big day w/ my family where everyone spent tons of time oohing over the girls and probably not  enough time playing w/ DS. He was tired, we were tired.If he'd been asleep we wouldn't have stopped. When we got to IL's he beelined for a bag of cars to take downstairs. DH's cousin was there w/ her 1 year old and DS didn't want to share. The 1 yo was fine w/ it and just moved on... but IL's (I feel) really got in DS's face and badgered him trying  to get him to share. It was like they were upset he was making them look bad. I shrugged and said he's 2 and tired but they just kept on him trying to MAKE him share until I wanted to smack someone!</p>
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<p>I DON'T want to be that parent who is making excuses for her childrens bad behavior, so please by all means if I'm letting him off the hook let me know! We don't get a lot of interaction with other kids his age because his cousins are now in preschool, and with the twins, I haven't been brave enough to venture out alone LOL unless we're just going to family's house. Also, all the playgroups do things at 9:30 am and DS is still sleeping then usually... and the girls are down for their first nap. I desperately need that time!</p>
 

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He sounds age appropriate to me. I'm sure a lot of it was that he was tired, too. Are you comfortable talking to your in laws about their expectations? I'm a big weenie (that needs to learn to stand up for herself and her kids better), so I understand if you aren't comfortable talking to them. I would just continue to monitor his sharing and intervene when you think necessary.
 

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<p>It sounds age appropriate to me.  Isn't there the joke list of "toddler laws" that goes "If I look at it, it's mine.  If I'm holding it, it's mine.  If I want it, it's mine. (and so on)."</p>
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<p>I will say that my parents often seem to have inappropriate expectations of my kids' behavior.  I think that it's been a long time since they dealt with a toddler, and they kind of conflate all of childhood and have some memory of how I acted as a kid and expect the same from DD... and it's only later that I put together the anecdote they relate about how I NEVER would have done that and realize that I was five in their story, and my DD is 3.  They were really great parents and they're definitely not the very strict type... they just really don't remember each individual phase.  For example, my mother kept making cracks about how I went about introducing DD to her brother all wrong, and comparing it to how I acted... it took me literally a year to realize that my sister and I are 3 years apart, and DD and DS are 1 1/2 years... I was TWICE as old as DD... OF COURSE I was perfectly happy to give up my crib and my baby toys to my sister.</p>
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<p>Your ILs may be experiencing sort of the same situation.  I've found that gently reminding my parents that this is just how 3 year olds act, and I remember my sister doing the exact same thing when she was 3 (I personally don't remember being 3, but I'm willing to put money on their memory of me always listening and never doing any wrong or having any tantrums and always finishing my dinner is a bit off) makes them stop and think a bit.</p>
 

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<p>I agree with the pp - sounds like your expectations are right on.</p>
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<p>Perhaps the best thing to do is have a conversation about this with your ILs *not in the moment* (maybe even send them an email if you prefer).  Ask them to let it be for a while.  Point out (as diplomatically as possible) that this is age-appropriate behaviour, and perhaps play the "new siblings" card (as in: he has a lot to adjust to - let's go "easy" on him)  in asking them to cool it, if you think that would help.</p>
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<p>Something we do here, if other kids are going to be coming over, is to put ds's "special" toys up and out of reach.  This can help avoid some of the worst not-wanting-to-share crisis. </p>
 

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<p>mama you are doing GREAT!!!! absolutely i totally agree with you with special toys. i dont think your son should share.</p>
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<p>no you are doing nothing out of the ordinary.</p>
 

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<p>for me, kids of any age get to have special toys they don't share (I didn't share my american girl doll stuff with my little sister, I was 16 at the time, it was special to me), but I try to avoid those toys being present when DD is playing with other kids. also, part of sharing is not taking something that someone else is playing with, if another child asks to play with a toy someone else is playing with, the kid who has the toy has a right to say that they are playing with it right now, and maybe later. </p>
 

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<p>I agree you are not out of line and it's age appropriate for your DS to feel the way he does.</p>
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<p>On top of that getting in a kids face and forcing them to share can often result in a stand off where if the adult "wins" and forces the sharing, the child hasn't learned to be generous, the child has learned that grown ups can force kids to do stuff against their will.</p>
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<p>When people (ie my Mom) used to try and force DD to share at that age, I communicated a couple of things. The first is that if I'm reading a book and an adult comes along and takes it out of my hands, or politely asks me to fork it over, or insists I read out loud to them so that they can be included--I'd think they were crazy, and no one would expect me to share my book. You know? We expect toddlers to "share" way more that we expect it from adults. That doesn't mean I don't encourage my DD to be open to sharing, I do. But I also understand when she says she's got a particular thing that she does not want to share. I think showing respect for HER boundaries gives her the confidence to share willingly and with a generosity of spirit that wouldn't be present if I forced her. The other thing is that i think it's dangerous for children to feel like they can't say no to adults or other kids. I want my DD to know that her things are her things and her body is her body and she has a right to protect them and set limits about them, she should not just blindly do whatever a grown up tells her especially if she doesn't feel good about it.  I think the tendency for Grandparents in-particular to get embarrassed and try to force little ones to be polite unintentionally conveys the message that everyone else's feelings are more important that the child's and that the child is being bad for having boundaries.</p>
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<p>It's important to know what polite behavior is and to treat people with respect, however I don't think forcing a child to share teaches those things.</p>
 

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<p>I agree that you're doing great. I also really agree with what Shati said. Also LOs usually have trouble sharing before they develop impulse control, so sometime between 3 and 4 it becomes more probable. Also a person shouldn't ever have to share a special or favorite possession. Children can be emotionally attached to a toy and making them share it could be cruel. We've never given our DD any pressure to share and she started doing it spontaneously, with some toys, around your son's age. I feel pressuring a child to share can give them negative feelings about sharing and undermine their developing empathy. Since about age 3.5 my DD will offer a favorite toy to an upset child to try to cheer them up. Some one else mentioned teaching polite behavior, but we feel modeling behavior is the best way to show our children how we feel people should treat each other.</p>
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<p>I'd tell your ILs to stop trying to make your DS share because that can undermine his natural development of empathy and he's just too young for sharing yet. I'd leave if someone tried to get in my child's face. We didn't really let other people correct her at all at that age, but she was really sensitive. We really wouldn't tolerate anyone being less than respectful toward her. She's almost 5 now and will tell another person if she feels they are being rude to her, in a polite way.</p>
 

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<p>I'll be the voice of dissent here.  Unless it is a special personal item (like DSD's iPod, or a special train of DS1's), I make my kids share.  I also try to limit the toys that are "owned" by one kid - it forces the issue.  In the OP's case, I read it as the bag of cars being something at the house they were visiting.  In my mind, a bag of cars would not fit into the "special personal item" clause, so when the 1 yo toddled by, I would have made my DS1 choose a few cars to share with the younger child.  Heck, even if we had brought the cars, I would have made him share a couple.  If it was one special car, no, but a whole bag?  Yes.  Honestly, if the one car was not a "special" car, I would have made DS1 let the little guy play with it after DS1 had some time with it.  I definitely could not imagine a situation where I would allow my child to hog a bunch of toys that were not even ours in the first place, especially if my child was the older of the two.</p>
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<p>This is for two reasons:</p>
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<p>1) I cannot afford an unlimited supply of toys at home.  We have one set of legos.  One.  So if two kids want to play with them, they need to work together or take turns.  If make the kids share and take turns at home, why not extend it to people outside of the family as well?  We practice being a good host by sharing toys when we have guests.  At other people's homes, we defer to their wishes about their toys, but it hasn't been a big issue.  I also try really hard to stress that we are seeing people, not their toys, when we go over to someone's house to play.</p>
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<p>2) As an adult, I have to share all of the time - at school, at work, at home.  I would be in a world of hurt if my parents hadn't taught me to share.  I can't steal all of the good spatulas at work, or hog all of the chemistry glassware at school, or monopolize the TV at home without regard for other people.  Even though it is hard for young children to understand the concept, I cannot imagine waiting until some arbitrary age where I think that they can view it logically (at age 8, DSD still wouldn't be sharing if that was the approach).  They might as well do it from day one, so they are used to it.</p>
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<p>But I'm a mean mom.<span><img alt="winky.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/winky.gif"></span></p>
 

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<p>I think it is age appropriate, but when my dd was that age, before people came over, I'd tell her she could put away anything she wouldn't want to share, but that it would hurt people's feelings to have to look at a bunch of toys they couldn't play with, so other kids could play with whatever she had kept out.  And then sometimes she'd find a couple things she didn't want to share and we'd put them in a closet, but usually she just kept everything out.  I think it gave her a sense of control to have the choice, but I would feel bad having guests in my house and not having at least fairly free access to the toys here.  Maybe a thing or two, but I don't know about a whole bag of cars.  I might have told my dd to choose one or two cars she didn't want to share and then let the others be played with.  She's always been really really good at sharing though so maybe that approach wouldn't work with kids who have trouble in that area.</p>
 

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<p>Thanks for all the responses. It helps to know that I'm not completely nuts... only partially lol!</p>
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<p>As far as the bag of cars I do want to clarify a bit no,  this typically isn't a special toy...BUT my IL's have purchased all of these toys for my son, and have spent a large amount of time telling him that they are his. IE 'look what pappy bought for DS' 'look what grammy got for 'DS' 'ooooh this is just for you DS' now obviously most adults figure that those are community toys when other kids are around... BUT my 2 year old doesn't really get that, as far as he's concerned these are HIS toys at HIS grandparents house. We're there 3-4 days a week on average  so to him they are his belongings... well not just to him, they really are his toys, they're just used by others when visiting, but 99% of the time they are just his. When we're at other peoples homes he's not like this actually, he's usually great about not claiming things of other peoples though there are times.</p>
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<p>PP you're also right about intervening, usually I would and explain sharing, I don't generally force  him to share but I do try to encourage some kind of compromise, though in some instances I have forced it (ie he takes something away from someone else). When this happened I had my hands full w/ one of the girls and was in an adjoining room listening to all of this. DS is more likely to get the other child a different toy when he's playing with something. In this situation the 1 yo didn't go for the cars until he was playing with them and she noticed it (totally normal behavior I know!) and when he refused she simply went back to the other toys. She could have cared less... it was my FIL that wouldn't let it go. </p>
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<p>I do give DS a LOT of leeway on some things, and I do let him make decisions for himself whenever possible, I want him growing up knowing his voice matters. BUT I don't want to raise a spoiled brat either so he also knows ultimately what mom or dad says goes when it matters... well he knows it as well as a 2 yo can lol! As far as sharing goes, he'll learn it but it's going to take time. I have a feeling I'm in for a time of it once the girls are mobile and he's forced to share but it is what it is...</p>
 

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<p><br>
This is my step-sister's view, and it's why I won't be staying with my mom when we visit at Thanksgiving. My step-sister lives a mile away. We live 700 miles away, so yes, her daughter thinks the toys there are all hers. Because my step-sister & her husband allow her to claim every freakin' toy there when we visit (even ones we bring with us), it's not worth the hassle. Unfortunately it means that her child has no friends (because this happens with family friends who have small children as well). SS also gets upset if my mom & stepdad try to intervene to say that they bought the toys and they are for everyone. So, to me, you are just making excuses. It's rude for your child to come in and grab an entire bag of toys, take them to another room, and not want anyone else to play. If he's that tired, go home.</p>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>newmommy7-08</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279266/age-appropriate-sharing-long#post_16045979"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p>As far as the bag of cars I do want to clarify a bit no,  this typically isn't a special toy...BUT my IL's have purchased all of these toys for my son, and have spent a large amount of time telling him that they are his. IE 'look what pappy bought for DS' 'look what grammy got for 'DS' 'ooooh this is just for you DS' now obviously most adults figure that those are community toys when other kids are around... BUT my 2 year old doesn't really get that, as far as he's concerned these are HIS toys at HIS grandparents house. We're there 3-4 days a week on average  so to him they are his belongings... well not just to him, they really are his toys, they're just used by others when visiting, but 99% of the time they are just his. When we're at other peoples homes he's not like this actually, he's usually great about not claiming things of other peoples though there are times.</p>
<p>is...</p>
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<p>Everything I have ever read on this topic says that a child should be allowed to have a few personal things that they do not have to share. Now, if your child starts to refuse to share things that they shoudl share..like the couch or the playground, then I would work to change that. But as far as his special toy from the other day, I would have stepped in and told others to respect him and his belongings. I would have even, if need be, taken the special belonging and locked it in the car away from everyone. I just explain to my children that it is best not to bring our things places or it might go missing or get ruined, etc. I have always maintained the rule that it must be left behind unless you want to share it. This actually works to protect the child and the object in question.  It will always be safely waiting when we get back to the car.</p>
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<p>Good luck!</p>
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<p>Oh, and my opinion of forced sharing is basically, it is teaching the people who insisted on taking the object that they can just steal or take or whatever from a child. Remember, pestering and trying to take something from a child, a toy or animal or baby doll, etc, is the same thing as if it happens to an adult in a equal thing..a car, a purse, money, etc.</p>
 

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<p>I should add that for the toys that are from Grandma's house, I would ask that Grandma and Grandpa stop calling the toys DS's toys and start calling them Grandma and Grandpa toys that he can play with while there. It needs to be done as a slow transition. It really is not fair to the little boy that they make such an issue of having paid for the toys and them being all his, only for that to not really be true. It feels like the grandparents want credit for having bought them for him like that. But what message they really sent him is that they are his and only his. That message needs to be changed. </p>
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<p>The main point is that 2 year olds don't understand the concept of sharing well yet and don't have the impulse control to be able to do consistently it even if they understand. They're just not there developmentally. Unrealistic expectations are still unrealistic expectations, even when they sound fair. I didn't expect my DD to share at 2.5. I did ask her to share when she was playing with other kids. Letting a child know what the appropriate expectations are even if they can't do it yet is still part of the learning process. Sometimes she did share and sometimes she wasn't able to. No one was ever rude to her because she was being a normal 2.5 year old but if she couldn't handle playing nice, I or my DH could carry her around or take her for a walk outside or even leave if we needed to. So having realistic expectations for your 2.5 year old doesn't mean other LOs have to do without or are treated rudely, just that no one treats your LO unfairly or rudely.</p>
 

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<p>I frame it as taking turns rather than sharing. I have yet to meet a two year old who wants to share and have met plenty who are completely unwilling to share. But, I have found that if I frame it as "ok you get a turn and than John gets a turn," we can have a reasonably good chance of making everybody satisfied.</p>
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<p>That said I do not allow hoarding. No one is allowed to go around and grab all the good toys to ensure no one else can have any fun. In that situation I would intervene.</p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>VisionaryMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279266/age-appropriate-sharing-long#post_16046021"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><br>
This is my step-sister's view, and it's why I won't be staying with my mom when we visit at Thanksgiving. My step-sister lives a mile away. We live 700 miles away, so yes, her daughter thinks the toys there are all hers. Because my step-sister & her husband allow her to claim every freakin' toy there when we visit (even ones we bring with us), it's not worth the hassle. Unfortunately it means that her child has no friends (because this happens with family friends who have small children as well). SS also gets upset if my mom & stepdad try to intervene to say that they bought the toys and they are for everyone. So, to me, you are just making excuses. <strong>It's rude for your child to come in and grab an entire bag of toys, take them to another room, and not want anyone else to play.</strong> If he's that tired, go home.</p>
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I can understand that but your SS and I don't share the view... I was explaining the situation more fully. DH and I DON'T stress that the toys are his... that's my IL's doing, we don't even stress that his toys are his. I think I need to clarify things even further...  He took the toys from the living room where you enter the house to the first floor where the dining room and kitchen where everyone else was.  He didn't take them away from everyone and into another room to play w/. He was playing at his father and GF's feet in the kitchen I was in the dining room w/ his GM and aunts. The 1 year old came in when she had been in the other room with us with other toys (which I will add DS couldn't care less that she was playing with them and they are typically 2 of his favorite GM's house toys. He didn't claim all the toys just the ones he brought in to the room to play with. Is your niece an only child? That's the only way I could see her attitude even being possible.... DS isn't, he has 2 baby sisters who in about 4 months will be getting into everything and he's not going to have any choice but to share. Sharing is currently a work in progress, one that I AM working on. I just want to make sure that his attitude is normal for a 2 year old and I'm not raising a brat.<br><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Lisa1970</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279266/age-appropriate-sharing-long#post_16046115"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I should add that for the toys that are from Grandma's house, I would ask that Grandma and Grandpa stop calling the toys DS's toys and start calling them Grandma and Grandpa toys that he can play with while there. It needs to be done as a slow transition. It really is not fair to the little boy that they make such an issue of having paid for the toys and them being all his, only for that to not really be true. It feels like the grandparents want credit for having bought them for him like that. But what message they really sent him is that they are his and only his. That message needs to be changed. </p>
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I think I will have a talk with them about this, you're right he is getting a mixed message and we're going to need to change that. It ought to be interesting because they've bought him toys and things for his birthday and Christmas but they stay at their house for him...  those SHOULD be his toys (that he should be willing to share goes w/o saying) and  they really aren't.<br>
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<p><br>
I agree with this (below). I often run into people who seem to think that if an eight year old can do such and such a disciplinary thing, then with the right guidance by golly a two year old can do it, too.</p>
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<p>I also think there's a lot of fear around raising 'spoiled brats,' which leads people to monitor and correct toddler behavior even when it isn't warranted. The thing that gets me about the story is that the little girl didn't even mind not having a car. If she had really wanted a car, then definitely adult intervention and  guidance around taking turns and 'sharing' is warranted. But since the girl wasn't interested, that wouldn't have been a battle I'd have picked, honestly, or if I did it would have been in a much different way: 'Hey, she's much younger than you, maybe you can show her how the cars work.' or 'If she wants them later, maybe you can play together.' But to some people, once you let one little incident slide, it's a slippery slide to spoiled bratdom.</p>
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<p>Maybe in a few years when your son is showing a high degree of generosity and empathy, despite once hoarding the cars when he was two, overtired, and no one else wanted them,  your FIL will relax a bit more.</p>
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<div class="quote-container">
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>lach</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279266/age-appropriate-sharing-long#post_16044267"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>It sounds age appropriate to me.  Isn't there the joke list of "toddler laws" that goes "If I look at it, it's mine.  If I'm holding it, it's mine.  If I want it, it's mine. (and so on)."</p>
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<p>I will say that my parents often seem to have inappropriate expectations of my kids' behavior.  I think that it's been a long time since they dealt with a toddler, and they kind of conflate all of childhood and have some memory of how I acted as a kid and expect the same from DD...</p>
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<p>I would have insisted my child share the cars, whether or not he thought they were his. I think its fine to have one or two special toys (when dd was a toddler she actually slept with two special hot wheels cars), but any more than they can hold in two hands and it's not about their need to use a toy, but their power to keep other people from having it. If he wanted to play with the cars then he could have picked a few that he wanted to use and let the other child have a few as well. If he wasn't up for sharing than the whole bag should have been put away. I never force sharing as far as turn-taking, I don't think a child should be made to give up something they're using until they are finished, but carrying around a bag of cars when he can't possibly play with all of them at once, just so another child couldn't play with them, that wouldn't be okay in my book. However I also wouldn't badger the child either (like your in-laws did). I would have just told him that it was rude not to share with our guest, and then I would have asked him if he wanted to pick a few cars to share with the cousin (the one year old) or if he'd like me to pick a few instead. If he chose not to pick some to share I would then just take a couple myself and give them to the other child. </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>junipermuse</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279266/age-appropriate-sharing-long#post_16051932"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>but any more than they can hold in two hands and it's not about their need to use a toy, but their power to keep other people from having it.</p>
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<p>I don't think it's about that at all. That seems like a really negative way to look at totally normal developmental stages.</p>
 
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