Thursday, December 11, 2008


Have you ever read the Toddler's Rules of Ownership? It says:
If I like it, it's mine.
If it's in my hand, it's mine.
If I can take it from you, it's mine.
If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
If it looks just like mine, it's mine.
If I think it's mine, it's mine.
Well, if that list sounds all to familiar, you may be interested in an article by Pinky McKay I just read at which provided some wonderful tips on teaching your children to be willing sharers, all in the context of acknowledging that "being able to share is a developmental stage that most children under the age of three simply aren't ready to manage."

Here are the tips the article provided:
  • If a toy is special, don't expect your child to share it, even if she has learned the meaning of sharing and taking turns. If you are expecting visitors, help your child put away special toys he finds difficult to share. It can be helpful to bring out "sharing" toys such as blocks and balls, and play with little ones or stay very close and observe carefully to keep them on track as they get used to new friends, so play dates aren't fraught with squabbles.
  • Teach your child to share by exaggerating your own sharing - "Mommy is sharing her orange with Daddy." You can also use encouraging language - "it tastes better when we share" as you divide food.
  • As toddlers get a little older, encourage sharing food by allowing one child to divide and the other to have first choice. This will soon see the chocolate bar meticulously divided down to the last crumb!
  • If there is tension over a toy or food, remove it and distract both toddlers.

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