Do you make your children share toys with each other?

(11 Posts)
TheVeryThing Sat 18-Jul-15 13:48:25

My ds1(7) has always been happy to let his younger brother play with any toys he's not using at the time.
Now that ds2(4) is getting more interesting toys but he does not want to share. We have had WW3 several times recently and I'm not entirely sure how to handle it.
So what happens in your house? Is it a free for all, or do they have to ask the owner's permission?

tumbletumble Sun 19-Jul-15 07:44:01

Generally mine all share toys and don't need to ask each other first (unless someone else is already playing with it, of course). Mine are 5, 7 and 9.

If your DS2 has one or two special toys that he is very possessive of and doesn't want his brother to play with, then I would have some sympathy. But if it applies to any of his toys, then I think he needs to understand that, in that case, he isn't allowed to play with any of DS1's toys.

My friend has a system that toys kept in a bedroom need permission but toys in the playroom don't. Would that work for you? (It wouldn't work for me because two of my DC share a bedroom.)

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 19-Jul-15 07:47:08

Toys kept in own room - private. Toys brought into or stored in communal areas -sharing.

However I get annoyed by some peoples concept of sharing grin. If DC is playing with a toy and otherDC wants it they have to wait til DC is finished with it. I hate this "well youve had it for five minutes so give it to OtherDC for five minutes" - disclaimer Im talking about single item toys that cant be played with by more than one person (i.e. a specific Playmobil figurine) rather than a commual toy (all the Playmobi).

Artandco Sun 19-Jul-15 07:53:46

Communal here

BlackbirdOnTheWire Sun 19-Jul-15 08:06:06

My DC rarely fight over toys, or if they do, not for long. Thinking about it, most of our toys seem to be easily shareable - Playmobil, lego, hundreds of cars, train sets, doll's house etc. I can't think of an individual standalone toy either of them owns. Whatever one is doing,the other tends to join in with, and they are generally very good at taking turns and being fair (DC1 was distraught the other day about taking biscuits in for the class party - "but Mummy, will DC2 have biscuits today too? Can you keep some back?" <grin>).

However, we also have a rule that if they fight over a toy, it gets taken away. They get one warning ("are you fighting over that <named toy>?”), then confiscation. Bedtime toys get returned to their owner immediately on request, regardless of how essential to the other DC's game of schools or whatever.

BlackbirdOnTheWire Sun 19-Jul-15 08:06:52

They do fight over plenty of other things though!!!

chickenfuckingpox Sun 19-Jul-15 08:16:22

the boys share they are 6 & 2 the oldest has decided to be quite selfish and possessive about them recently snatching toys away from his brother so i confiscate the toy in question unfortunately i dont always see it happen and the two year old has developed a spectacular habit of smashing his brother with a toy if he gets pissed off by him i try and be sympathetic but my mouth slipped the other day and i cuddled him and told him if he didn't keep snatching his brother wouldn't hit him! im waiting to see if it makes a difference

Kiwiinkits Mon 20-Jul-15 06:23:45

I think it's important to respect private ownership of some things. As adults, much of our laws and system are proprietorial in nature (possession is 9/10ths of the law, anyone?). And that starts with teaching kids to recognise ownership and respect for others' property.

Actually, Siblings Without Rivalry (a great parenting book) has some excellent advice on how to navigate ownership and control of possessions. Requiring sharing of all things can actually establish deep-set rivalries between siblings that can be avoided altogether with better management from parents. I highly recommend this book.

Kiwiinkits Mon 20-Jul-15 06:26:31

So, to answer your question, no I don't make my kids share. I encourage them to find solutions that are mutually agreeable with their own property. I help them to express themselves in negotiations with each other in relation to their toys. And I help them understand why their negotiating strategy failed.

(doesn't always work in practice though!!)

TheVeryThing Mon 20-Jul-15 07:07:07

Thanks for all the replies, didn't get a chance to log in yesterday.
We have limited space downstairs so most toys are kept in their rooms.
Ds 2 has been used to helping himself to ds1's toys and playing in his room but he's not too keen reciprocating.
I have tried explaining how unfair this is but he's very stubborn.
While it would be nice to think they would share everything I do understand what kiwi is saying.
I remember reading something before which explained that adults wouldn't be very happy if their friends came in and helped themselves to their car, clothes etc, and it made sense.
Until now, Ds1 has been very indulgent of his little brother but perhaps it's time to invest in that book and work out a new strategy.

Ausflug Mon 20-Jul-15 07:24:41

Mine share most toys without fighting, most of our toys are shareable anyway.
If they want a specific thing, they negotiate it between them, and I don't often have to step in. They know much better than I do which specific Lego or Playmobil figure belongs to them, and which to their sibling - but they are usually fairly amenable to their sibling playing with it anyway, as long as they have something just as good too.

I wouldn't be happy with either of them refusing to let their sibling join in with a game, or not letting them play with something while they weren't using it themselves, but this doesn't really happen anyway - maybe that's because we have the toys sorted by type rather than ownership, so usually there are bits of everything that belong to both of them.

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