Archive | May, 2016

Why is my child not willing to share?

Why is my child not willing to share?

Posted on 10 May 2016 by Annerley

Untitled design-1Toddlers arguing over toys – a common scene at playgroups and playdates. The crying, the drama, the ensuing tantrums… is it all just an inevitable part of toddlerhood or is there something we can do?

If your child is less than 5 years old, the explanation can be very simple – she is just not ready to share. Most toddlers aged two and under have no understanding of sharing at all and others will take a lot longer to understand the concept. In some cases, with some special toys for example, they may never be ready. It may help you to think of this from the child’s perspective – try to imagine if someone asked for your handbag or phone and you had to hand it to someone (maybe even a stranger) willingly and without objection.

Most toddlers will eventually learn how to share most toys. However it’s a good idea to allow them to keep their special toys separate and not to expect them to share those things they are particularly attached to. Why not go through their toys before someone comes over for a playdate and put out toys that are ok to be shared – and keep the other toys at a safe distance or simply explain that this particular toy will not be shared. Do this with your child. You may just find this makes for a far more peaceful playtime.

My toddler is fighting with another toddler over a toy. How do I deal with this?

Distraction is the simplest answer. The attention span of a toddler is normally very short. Take your child and find something else to look at – “look, a bird” – and swing away from the situation. Don’t dwell on it and don’t waste time or energy making him say sorry – most toddlers will not understand that either. You of course should apologize and your child will eventually copy your behaviour and learn to say sorry in due course. When the same scenario comes up again – simply repeat.

The best way to encourage children to share is to praise them for when they do share. It will happen – do it quickly when you see it and try to do it regularly. By praising them for positive behaviour they will be a lot more likely to do it again. They will gradually want to please parents and caregivers more than anything else.

Most children will develop the concept of sharing very quickly when they start Kindergarten or any sort of similar group activity. They will very quickly copy the behaviour from their peers and teachers. So, one way of dealing with the issue of sharing is to simply wait.

Best of luck

Kristrun Lind

B.Ed, M. Ed. (Iceland, HK) C.E.C.E. (HK)

Kristrun teaches a workshop at Annerley – Understanding your toddler.  Consultation with the our consultants and midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.

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