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My 4 year old sometimes handles playdates really well but other times gets very stressed about the other kids touching her stuff. I do try the idea of putting up the most special items so they are out of reach, but honestly she would put all her toys away from sight if allowed. She talks about the kids and likes them and looks forward to them coming but the actuality of them coming over causes her great stress. So, we don't do them often. But, that is not working either as it is not teaching her anything about sharing. To make matters worse we belong to a local group and have playdates a lot, mostly at venues like museums, but sometimes at houses. She does pretty good at people's houses but freaks out, at times, when kids play with her toys at our house.<br><br>
I am not asking about ways to put away this toy or that or give each child a time limit, that kind of thing. What I want to know is if there are techniques I could use or books I could read to help ease her stress and help her to share better.<br><br>
Thank you
 

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My son is the same way. It seems like whenever playgroup is at our house, Danny is miserable. But when its at someone else's house, he has a blast. There is another little boy in our group who is the same way. I think 3-5 is a really hard age for sharing, and having a bunch of kids touching all of your stuff is really hard. Playing outside seems to help (although we do have outside toys).<br><br>
Maybe you could try having a playdate at a park or playground.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>starry_mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7970835"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Maybe you could try having a playdate at a park or playground.</div>
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Oh we do that, but houses are backups on rainy days. So, when it is my day to host, my house is backup. Plus, I want her to learn to share at some point in her life!
 

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my ds is absolutly WONDERFUL at sharing. It shocks me every time. If he does have an issue with something we have a rule that if HE doesn't want to share it then HE cannot play with it either and it's put away until his friends leave. Usually he is just perfect sharing as he goes.
 

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edamommy - you are lucky, but I was looking more for stress reduction techniques and ways to promote sharing than ways to limit access to toys.
 

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I think that that is something kids usually outgrow on their own. Some need a little more time. I would make sure your dd is well rested and well fed before playdates. If ones at home are stressful, I'd keep having them elsewhere until she is a little older.<br><br>
I would start out with only one other child (or one other family) for home playdates. Make sure the toys that are out are ones that work well with more than one kid. I don't think there is anything wrong with putting away most of the toys as long as it isn't done with the attitude that they are being hidden from the guests so they don't use them.<br><br>
I usually put away all the toys if we are having company (just as part of cleaning up) and choose some things to set out to be discovered. Otherwise, every single toy gets dumped out just so the other kids can see what we have. I put out toys that are age appropriate and of interest to our guests. My ds is not very possessive by nature but many of our toys are things that I've picked up to be household toys, not things given specifically to him. Some of the toys are actually mine, not his <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> .
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>yellowpansy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7971004"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">edamommy - you are lucky, but I was looking more for stress reduction techniques and ways to promote sharing than ways to limit access to toys.</div>
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Is your dd an introvert? My introverted neice with strong possessive tendencies really started outgrowing the same kind of behavior as your dd after turning 5. She just needed a little more time than the next kid.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>yellowpansy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7970794"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But, that is not working either as it is not teaching her anything about sharing. To make matters worse we belong to a local group and have playdates a lot, mostly at venues like museums, but sometimes at houses. She does pretty good at people's houses but freaks out, at times, when kids play with her toys at our house.</div>
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Does she really need to share at this age? Sharing's overrated. It's something we make kids do, but not adults, very often. If you came into my house and used my computer, my washing machine, my car, etc. I'd freak out too!<br><br>
When it's your turn, go to a park, an indoor playground or something until she's older.<br><br>
If you absolutely have to have it at your house, I'd have a set of toys that your dd really doesn't play with that often -- maybe you can have her help pick them out. Put them in a box and label them 'playdate toys'. Then on playdates, take these out and nothing else.<br><br>
I also don't talk about 'sharing' we talk about 'taking turns'.<br><br>
OR have an 'activity' for the kids, rather than a completely non-structured playdate. A craft or a game or something.<br><br>
If your dd is sensitive or an introvert (or worse, a sensitive introvert!) a playdate alone might be very stressful (lots of stimulation) and it might just be pushing her over her edge so she has no emotional reserves left to 'share'. Have you tried one on one playdates? That might be a good way to get her used to the idea with less stress than having a GROUP of kids at her house. And you can start short - like an hour at a time.
 

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My dd is very similar to yours in that regard. It can be frustrating, and I haven't found a great way to deal with it. I guess I just tell myself that she'll outgrow it, and we discuss (before and after the playdate) how things should/did go. (Not as in, "You didn't share with Mary! That was so rude!" I try to make neutral observations and let dd expound if she pleases. For example, I'll say, "I noticed that Mary really seemed to like your new doll," and I'll see what dd says about it. Then we can often have a conversation about how it felt when Mary wanted to play with dd's doll, how dd reacted, etc. I'm not pushy in these conversations, but I notice that dd seems to like to talk about it later.)<br><br>
I know this isn't what you're looking for, but this works sometimes for us. I get a special project that will be done with dd's guest. Sometimes I let her pick it out with me, and sometimes it's a surprise for her as well as for the guest. It's usually an art project of some type, because dd loves art projects. Anyway, there is some focus to the beginning of the friend's visit. I sit the kids down and they work on a fun project together.<br><br>
When the project is finished, I notice that dd is usually "warmed up" sufficiently to be a little more inclined to share. Not always, but sometimes.<br><br>
I also have noticed that as she's gotten older she's started being more sharing with visitors. I truly think that it will come with time.<br><br>
Anyway, I don't have any relaxation tips or books to recommend, but I hope my comments help somewhat. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter #10
These are good ideas. I like the idea of putting out only a few toys that will definitely be shared and the art project is also a great idea. We could be in the kitchen, moms chatting, while kids do art.<br><br>
I do want her to learn to share. We share when our friends come over and that is important to us. We ask first when we are at their house, and of course they ask first here, so the kids need to learn that, too, but we do share. We think that it is kinda part of the golden rule (although we are not religious at all). If we are nice and kind and generous to our friends, they will be so to us. We want dd to learn this and live by it. But, I do realize that this is developmental. I just know she does it sometimes. I don't understand why she does not do it all the time. I've tried and tried to find a pattern, to no avail.<br><br>
Anyway, thanks for the tips.
 
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