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I need some opinions.

Is it appropriate to teach DS about sharing when another kid swipes one of several toy that DS is holding/playing with?

DS likes to play with things in 3 - 3 cars, 3 balls, whatever. If I ask him, 90% of the time he'll share the toys with a friend (depending on the friend - if s/he has taken stuff from him before, etc.). But if a kid comes up and takes it away from him, DS will freak out and get upset. Understandably so.

But since DS DOES have 3 toys, I point out that he's got 2 other toys and can he share. Of course he says no and runs after the kid saying "please" and trying to take the toy back.

I'm kind of stuck. I do want him to share stuff (he's really really good at sharing and taking turns) but at the same time I want him to stand up for himself too. Other kids take stuff from him all the time and hit him too so we're working on having him say "don't hit me" or something to that effect.

Do I:
1) Enforce the sharing concept and try to get him to understand that he's got 2 others; or
2) Let him get the toy back himself?
 

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hmm.... I think some people go overboard with making their (very young) kids share everything so I think maybe try to do number one half the time and number two the other half? I think you should really encourage him to ask if he wants the toy back. Sharing should be fun, right? not something you do because it makes your mom feel like she is a good parent
:

So if he wants to share, and he does it well, he'll share when he genuinely wants to and be able to get his stuff back when he is really playing with three things.
 

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Some wise woman pointed some things out to me recently and one was:

instead of talking about sharing, use the term "taking a turn." This might not sound so permanent.

If it is a toy my child really liked and it was his/her own, I would just say. "this is her special toy and she is going to hold onto it today."

Remember, sharing at any age could be hard. I've mentioned this here before but here goes again.... what would you do or feel like if you had a new winter coat ( new car, new Ipod, etc...) and your friend said, "oh I like that, share it with me." IT might be a little hard to give up your special thing.
 

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My son also likes to play with groups of things and I too have dealt with this. At first I was making him share (ie: give up one of the toys), but then I thought, he is actually playing with all three of them. If it is a toy that he is not currently playing with I say "Can so and so have a turn." If he is playing with all three of them I will say to the other child. "It is his turn right now, you can have a turn when he is finished." Or something along those lines. It doesn't always work so smoothly, but most of the time it does. Also, this isn't a hard and fast rule. If those are the only toys available I encourage sharing even if he is playing with them.

Sometimes I let him get the toy back himself, but sometimes that doesn't work and I have to intervene. Same goes for when my son grabs toys from others.
 

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Well, I think that if another child swipes one of the toys he is playing with, asking him to share that toy is showing him that if he wants someone to share a toy with him he should swipe it from them, then that child's mother will tell that child to share.

I think sharing should be a choice, not something he is asked to do after another child demonstrates inappropriate behavior.

As a PP said, I also think sharing is over-rated. Teaching a child to share before empathy develops is probably not really teaching him to share, its teaching him to please the adult. I think it would be better to, at this age, work on outcomes that both children enjoy (negotiating and problem-solving) such as trading toys with each other or taking turns.
 
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