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I would love to hear about how all of you handle the sharing situation. I'm entering the age where it's becoming an issue, and want to hear all your ideas. I suppose my "strategy" so far is to let it be as much as possible. It makes me cringe when I see parents at the park forcing their kids to share... it makes my heart break to see the little kid's toy being pried from his crying hands! If this happens with another kid and my DD, I usually tell the parent that it's perfectly fine if LO doesn't want to share... they usually persist though.<br><br>
DD is usually pretty good about other kids playing with her stuff. If she's reluctant, I don't force her to. But that seems to bug other parents... so I will usually say something like, "It looks like she wants to play with you.. I bet she would be really happy to have a turn with the toy, too." I get the impression people think I'm ridiculous and passive for saying this and not just prying it from her hands, since DD is not talking much (she does understand tons though), I'm not forcing her to share and I don't do much else if she doesn't end up sharing... but whatever, right? haha.<br><br>
And the hardest situation for me is when DD takes a toy that another kid is playing with... which is rare, thankfully. Usually I take it back from DD and give it back, especially if the kid is upset, and explain that to her... but usually even if the kid is crying the parents are all, "Yeah! Good sharing! Good sharing!" and don't want me to give the toy back... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
Anyway... thoughts?
 

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Its so strange how the skill set for a child is so different from the skill set for an adult. And unfair, in my opinion.<br><br>
My friends don't ask me to share things that are obviously important to me. When they do ask for something, its with a humble awareness that they are asking me for a favor, and vice versa. My friends never ask to borrow my car, or use my underarm deodorant, or my toothbrush, or my TV. Children are somehow expected to share their things easily. Because they are children, I guess.<br><br>
I think its okay to respect the child's desire to not share a special toy. For lesser things, I think its better to focus on the concepts of taking turns as opposed to sharing, and also to develop awareness of the other child's feelings and reactions ("Look; Sophie is crying and pointing at her red car. I think the red car must be really important to her. Let's give it back to her and we can play with this _________ instead").<br><br>
For community property (swings at the park for example) emphasizing taking turns is probably best, making sure that all the children who want to get a turn, and that a child who ends his turn with tears gets another turn in a while so that he sees its just temporary and his needs are valued, too.
 

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I pretty much do as teh PP does. Whoever is playing with a toy is entitlted to use it until she is done, but once she puts it aside it's fair game again. (communial toys we own). Special toys (their stroller, doll, a few other things) the person has to ask the owner (I'm talking among siblings here, so while the blocks are fair play for whoever wants them (as long as someone else isn't using *those* particular blocks at that time) each child's stroller is her own, and her sisters have to ask if they want to use it).<br><br>
I will do the taking turns thing at the park with the swings. One of our park has only 2 swings and usually there are at least 5 kids who want to use it. I'll give mine warning and then 5/4/3/2/1 and let the next child. If another child is staying on the swing a long time and my kid is waiting I will ask the parent if we can please have a turn. I figure everyone's tax dollars paid for the swing, and it's not fair for another child to swing for 15 minutes when there are kids clearly waiting. Once I had a parent tell me her kids really like the swings. Well, mine do to. Her kids stayed on the swings the whole 45 minutes we were in the park. Sorry, if you want a private swing you put one in your yard <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: I don't think it's right to take over public property for so long (ok, rant over, and let me add there is pretty much *nothign* else to do at this park, just a little slide, and the closest other swings are a 30 min. walk away so it's not a matter of there being lots of other things to do or lots of other places to go. You go to that park *for* the swing and everyone has to take turns)
 

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How do you decide what a "special" toy is? If you ask my DD, they all are if she wants to play with it right then LOL<br><br>
Up to now, we've had a "we share all the toys" rule. But I want her to have a sense that some things her brother won't get to share unless she says so and vice versa. But I don't know how to implement it. I thought about setting up a "special" shelf in each room, but I"m not sure she will understand that system yet (she's 4.5, low verbal)....any suggestions? How have you guys determined what is special or communal?<br><br>
(sorry to barge in on this thread! but it's a great topic)<br><br>
thanks<br>
robyn
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hippymomma69</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11580649"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">How do you decide what a "special" toy is? If you ask my DD, they all are if she wants to play with it right then LOL</div>
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In my family it wasn't an issue with the age difference (9 years). My husband had close siblings, though, and he said there were 2 rules. The first was that some toys MIL designated as belonging to a certain person because they involved small parts or other things that the younger ones couldn't play with without supervision, but the older siblings could. You kind of grew into those.<br><br>
Each child also got to have 2-3 things (there was a specific number, but I don't remember it) that were "yours." Everyone had to ask to play with that, and you kept it in your room. Everything else stayed in the play room.<br><br>
As a PP said, I am really big (probably a bit obsessive) about differentiating between sharing and taking turns. There's really little that the kids share; they're mostly taking turns with things - you get to zoom the car down the ramp and then I get to and on and on.
 

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We take turns. This morning it was over a book. One ds had the book to church .The other had the book going home. My son likes the swings also but I will remove him to give others a turn. They are 6 and 4 and have moments of being good at sharing. Those good moments have come from teaching them to take turns.<br>
Susan
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hippymomma69</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11580649"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">How do you decide what a "special" toy is? If you ask my DD, they all are if she wants to play with it right then LOL<br></div>
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For us, I can tell if its special because its still special when no one is around (like her teddy bear). If it only becomes "special" when other kids are present, then I'm more likely to encourage turn-taking with that item, I think. Also if its a new thing that she just got, its automatically special until the newness wears off. e.g. she doesn't have to take turns with presents she just got at a birthday party.<br><br>
I like your shelf idea!
 

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My DS is not quite 2.5 years old and is in the "MINE!" stage in a big way. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
We talk about and practice sharing on a regular basis but we also practice <b>NOT</b> sharing. I have told him that it is perfectly fine for him to not share but he must be polite about it. We worked out a pat statement for him to say when he doesn't feel like sharing, "<br><br>
No, thank you; I prefer not to share."<br><br>
We practice this as we go through our day. I find that having control over when he shares makes him <i>more</i> generous in sharing; he hates enforced sharing, as do we all. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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We are similar to most other responders, although my kids, who are 4 and 2 1/2, don't really have "special" toys. My DD (4) is actually a pretty decent sharer, I think because she is very social and wants to be friends with other kids, so she is willing to bend a bit if someone wants to use something of hers. Sharing between my two kids can be a bit more complex, but our general rule is that if you had it, nobody else can take it until you are done. But you can only play with one thing at a time and once you move on, you give up the last toy. No hoarding of ALL of the toys at once.<br><br>
We've taught our kids a couple of specific phrases related to sharing--"When you are done, may I use that?" to which the proper response is "Sure, when I'm done I'll give it to you." And "I'm still playing with that" for situations in which someone tries to pry something out of their hands. These phrases work out pretty well for us, although of course we have our bad days, too.
 

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While I don't like to force sharing, my main issue is that DS will pick up a friend's toy - a toy that is sitting on the ground being ignored - and start playing with it. His friend (the same age) will come up and snatch it away from him and DS will start crying. But it's supposed to be okay that the friend snatched it away from DS because that's his special ____. Be it hat, stuffed animal, whatever. I really do understand not forcing a child to share something special to them, but 1) how special was it if it was just sitting on the floor and 2) how do I explain to DS that we don't snatch things from out of other people's hands when it's being done to him and it's supposed to be okay and 3) how do I explain to him that I know he was playing with it but he can't?
 

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We try not to do the "this toy is too special to share" thing because everything can turn into that and I believe it's more about the process (most of the time) than the specific toy.<br><br>
We do what a pp suggested as well with scripted lines to help them negotiate turn taking with each other - "you can have a turn when I'm done", "may i have a turn with that?", etc.<br><br>
I've worked with my oldest about not taking toys he's not ok sharing to public places. He's experienced seeing someone with something super cool and they weren't willing to share. That's really hard for the kids seeing it and, I think, it creates that charge about wanting things and coveting them even more. I personally skip the whole "I prefer not to share" coaching because I don't like the dynamic that gets setup by not taking turns and putting that much emphasis on the importance of a thing.<br><br>
Just my two cents.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Moonprysm</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11582786"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">While I don't like to force sharing, my main issue is that DS will pick up a friend's toy - a toy that is sitting on the ground being ignored - and start playing with it. His friend (the same age) will come up and snatch it away from him and DS will start crying. But it's supposed to be okay that the friend snatched it away from DS because that's his special ____. Be it hat, stuffed animal, whatever. I really do understand not forcing a child to share something special to them, but 1) how special was it if it was just sitting on the floor and 2) how do I explain to DS that we don't snatch things from out of other people's hands when it's being done to him and it's supposed to be okay and 3) how do I explain to him that I know he was playing with it but he can't?</div>
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I don't enforce sharing, and I don't allow grabbing. I have some baseline rules. If we are going to someones house, and you want to bring a toy - great! But if your friend wants a turn with it, that has to be ok. Otherwise leave it home. Likewise, if a friend is coming over, we can put up a couple toys that aren't for public play, no questions asked. If a toy becomes an object of SERIOUS dispute it gets put up until end of playdate.<br>
oops, kid crying in bed...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>aschmied</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11584065"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't enforce sharing, and I don't allow grabbing. I have some baseline rules. If we are going to someones house, and you want to bring a toy - great! But if your friend wants a turn with it, that has to be ok. Otherwise leave it home. Likewise, if a friend is coming over, we can put up a couple toys that aren't for public play, no questions asked. If a toy becomes an object of SERIOUS dispute it gets put up until end of playdate.<br>
oops, kid crying in bed...</div>
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I totally agree with the pp.........<br><br>
Another thing is that I believe that adults ARE expected to share...think about it....when I invite friends over to my house I EXPECT that they're going to use my bathroom, drink something using my glasses, eat my food, etc. etc. Maybe my examples are a bit silly but my point is that we share and take turns in life all the time!<br><br>
While I don't agree with grabbing and I don't expect my dd to share something that is truly special to her I do think that learning to share (gently, and with some explanation behind it) is a wonderful thing! I want my child to feel a connection with other people and that sharing something of yours with others is a wonderful feeling! And I try to lead by example!<br><br>
Nichole
 

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My daughter goes to a small 5 kid daycare. At first, when she was 2, I had a conversation about sharing with the lady from the daycare after a few bad episodes of forced sharing. I told her that I did not encourage DD to share or not share beyond the basics of taking turns with stuff that belongs to everyone. I did make sure to tell her about the benefits of sharing.<br><br>
By the time she was 3, she had really discovered how gratifying it can be to share her stuff and learned to respect when other people do not want to. How can you teach a child to respect other people's feelings if you are also telling them to disregard their own?<br><br>
She is now almost 4 is truly amazing when it comes to sharing. Whenever she has food, she offers some to whoever is around, if she brings a book or a toy to daycare she is really excited about letting her friends play with it and get the same kind of enjoyment she gets from it. She understands that, at the end of the day, her stuff will still be hers. She is also very respectful of other people's property and seems genuinely thankful when someone shares with her. I even over-heard her telling her notoriously un-sharing friend about how sharing a little bit of her ice cream makes everyone happy. She was like : 'I like ice cream. You like it too. If I eat all of it, you are sad. I give you a little bit and you are happy and we can play and say it's delicious.' I was so proud.<br><br>
Anyway, not much advice I guess. Well, I do not have a special toy clause, it is always voluntary unless she gets aggressive about it, in which case I will usually let the other kid have it (this is relatively recent, only since she is clearly capable of dealing with it nicely and excludes extenuating circumstances). I also am upfront about reasons why kids can or cannot play with certain things. I never tell DD not to touch my stuff just because it is mine, I give her the real reason. I do not share my books with her because she might rip them, she cannot share her toothbrush because of hygiene, she has to share her chairs because the other kids need a place to sit, etc. I think this is crucial in getting the right concepts across. I am huge stickler for consistency and reality though.
 

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As far as special toys in this house, they are things that were given to the specific child, rather than just communial property that was bought by me (or presents they got so long ago they don't remember). I can name them all though, there are very few. Each girl has a baby, a doll, and a stroller. There are one or 2 stuffed animals someone has "adopted" but other than that, everything is communal here. I'm sure it will change as teh girls get older, get more birthday presents, etc.<br><br>
Like teh PP, I don't allow grabbing. Whoever is playing with someone is welcome to it until she is finished, but after that it's fair game. I guess i would say they share everything all the time (all the toys), and they take turns / work it out when 2 or more children want the same thing at the same time.
 

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We emphasize taking turns. If a friend is over playing and a conflict develops over a toy, we have set the oven timer for length of turns and this has worked out well for things like the rocking horse or the swing. If a certain toy is causing too much trouble we will likely ask them to take turns or perhaps the toy should be put up and we'll play with other things.<br><br>
I've been to friend's house when their ds doesn't want my ds to touch a single one of their toys (a typical 3 yo mood) and I'd prefer not to see that at my house. When this happens we usually move to outdoor play.<br><br>
If ds is actively playing with something at the playground, like his bucket and shovel, I don't force him to share. I just explain to the other child he is busy using it. If he left something on the ground and someone picks it up and he wants it back "just because" I ask him if he can let the other child have a turn since he wasn't using it, and then often remind him of all the other playground toys he played with that day that were not his.<br><br>
Haven't had any huge issues yet!
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I don't enforce sharing, and I don't allow grabbing. I have some baseline rules. If we are going to someones house, and you want to bring a toy - great! But if your friend wants a turn with it, that has to be ok. Otherwise leave it home. Likewise, if a friend is coming over, we can put up a couple toys that aren't for public play, no questions asked. If a toy becomes an object of SERIOUS dispute it gets put up until end of playdate.</td>
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Yep, this is pretty much the way I handle it, too. I'll *suggest* sharing, but if the kid in question had the toy first and doesn't feel like giving it up, then I'll redirect the other child. If the toy is put down, even for a bit, it's fair game.<br><br>
And I'm BIG on putting things up/hiding things for playdates. I put up "special toys", especially obnoxious toys that I don't want to listen to all day, toys that seem to cause contention, etc.
 

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I don't have to share my things if I don't want to, so I'm not going to force my son (or other kids) to share their things. When my son is older, I will ask that if he doen't want to share something at all, that particular toy goes away when other kids are around- that's just polite. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
At this age (20months), though, we pretty much just do "Timmy is still using that, you have to wait until he is done". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> I'm not willing to time things or force turn-taking, because, well, that's more involved than I want to be in the process! If someone grabs a toy out of another child's hand, I'll return it to the original possesor and explain why, but that's about it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>soso-lynn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11584800"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I also am upfront about reasons why kids can or cannot play with certain things. I never tell DD not to touch my stuff just because it is mine, I give her the real reason. I do not share my books with her because she might rip them, she cannot share her toothbrush because of hygiene, she has to share her chairs because the other kids need a place to sit, etc. I think this is crucial in getting the right concepts across. I am huge stickler for consistency and reality though.</div>
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I love this! So simple and so true. I know that is part of my problem. I have a tendency to say "that's daddy's" or whatever if I don't want my kid to play with something but then when she imitates my behavior I come down on her for it. Sometimes I'm just a dunce LOL<br><br>
I'm turning over a new leaf today and will try to always state the real reason for sharing/not sharing....thanks!<br>
peace,<br>
robyn
 
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