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Toddlers and sharing- do you intervene at all?

509 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  bellona
I'm not one to expect my ds to share with others. I really think that 20 mos is WAY to young to expect sharing (though he does sometimes share, if he feels like it. lol).
We have a friend (actually my brother's girlfriend) who has a 18 mo girl. She is not the most pleasant, or happiest of babies. lol. She tries to take EVERYTHING that my ds is playing with. She'll take a ball from him, then I'll tell him to get another ball, and she'll want THAT one. She yells, and pulls it away from him. Her mom doesn't ever say anything (I think because she doesn't think sharing is age approprate.)
Ds usually doesn't try to take anything from her, but I noticed that last time we got together, he tried to take a certain blue ball from her, every time she had it (he had been playing with it earlier, and having a lot of fun, so I'm guessing he felt that it was his). I stopped him from taking it from her, and asked if he might go try to find me another ball for me to hold. yk, distracting him long enough for her to get tired of the ball. He was happy to go find another ball.
But, I'm wondering if I really ought to have left them to whatever they were doing. I doubt they would have hurt each other, or tried to (though I wouldn't put it past the girl).
Is it better to just let them "sort things out" on their own?
Or would you step in when your dc tries to take something?
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IMO, 18 months is too young to figure it out on their own. It can be awkward, though, depending on the other parent and what they think is appropriate. In my circle at that age, we say, "Jack is playing with that ball right now (gently removing it from Jill if need be); let's find another one for you." And we do make an effort to entice Jill with something else. If Jack is really not upset, though, I'd let it go.

As they get more verbal, we encourage them to engage more directly. "Jack, tell Jill that you're using the ball, and when you're done you'll give it to her." We use this consistently in our playgroup, and it has worked really well. Amazingly, most of the kids "get" this, and really will go and hand their friend the ball when they're done.

I step in if my child tries to take something. I just give a reminder that someone else is playing with that toy right now and maybe they can use it after. Then I distract.

They may not really understand this early, but I feel it sets the stage for when they're older.
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