My Child Won’t Share

Help, my child won’t share. Does that sound familiar? Almost every child will go through a phase where
he or she won’t share. Here are some tips on how to deal with this situation.
If you’re the parent of a toddler I’m sure at some point you have experienced the above named syndrome, and if you haven’t beware… It’s bound to crop up in the not too distant future.

The first thing you should know is that your child is experiencing a very normal part of development. Even the most reasonable of children will not want to share their precious things at some point.

As embarrassing or difficult as this can be don’t get too discouraged by their behavior and certainly don’t blame yourself or your parenting skills. Take comfort in knowing that this is simply part of your child’s development and is helping her prepare for her next stage of life.

The good news is you can gently deter this situation even before it starts. Here are a few tips:

Distraction Technique – Distract your child with another toy or ask her to come and join you to play on the swings, etc. without making a big deal about sharing. This will often work as toddlers get bored quickly and she’ll probably appreciate the distraction.

Nip it in the Bud – Anytime two toddlers are playing together it’s best to keep a close eye on things. As soon as you see a potential situation about to erupt, dive in there and break it up. Tempt your child with a more interesting toy or show them a fun new game.

If your child is playing nicely and another child is trying to take her things then distract that child. Find something similar or a close replacement to what your child has and offer it to them. Tell them how great it is, of course, don’t overdo it or then you’ll have two toddlers fighting over this new and wonderful toy you’re talking about.

Walk Away – If things get really bad and your child refuses to give back a toy to their crying owner then it’s time to take action. Gently pick up your child and walk away. They may kick and scream but remember YOU are in charge. Take him to a quite corner or space and wait for him to calm down. Then give him a hug and explain that you know he really wanted that toy but that it belongs to someone else.

Chances are your child isn’t going to understand or accept the meaning of this but you’ve now diffused the situation and can continue to play happily.

The Aftermath – After the fact it’s great to talk things over with your child and explain why it’s important to share, but be realistic. Most toddlers won’t understand the concept of sharing or why they should do it and all the talking in the world isn’t going to change things.

As your child starts to mature that’s the time when it’s more appropriate to try and reason with them since they will start to have an understanding of actions and consequences. During the toddler years that understanding isn’t there.

The best way is often to avoid and / or distract your toddler. This will help diffuse
a lot of incidents before they even start.
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