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To not force my toddler to 'share'

(58 Posts)
livinginazoo Tue 31-May-11 13:53:57

If my 2 y.o. is playing nicely with a little fire engine at playgroup (and has been for 5 mins or so), minding his own business, AIBU to tell the bossy mother of a 3 y.o. that no- in fact my son does NOT want to swap his little fire engine for another toy (of many many available at the place) just because her 3 y.o. is having a major stroppy fit and wants it NOW. Seriously, I had to physically stop that woman and say no! Sharing is one thing, grabbing too, but this situation only arose because of her appalling parenting skills and spoiled brat. How is this teaching children to interact with each other or become self-sufficient? Same child took to throwing hard toys at the littler toddlers afterwards, and no that yummy mummy did not say a word to him to stop him, or attempt to comfort/apologise for his actions. The mind boggles.

LindyHemming Tue 31-May-11 13:54:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ninedragons Tue 31-May-11 13:59:40

Nope, I don't believe in unrestrained sharing either. Most adults wouldn't let a stranger drive their car or wear their clothes, so I don't see why enforced sharing should be foisted on small children.

DD1 (3) asked me the other day if we could share my engagement ring, so luckily I had already told her that some special things you don't have to share with anyone at all.

nancydrewfoundaclue Tue 31-May-11 13:59:58

Come back and have this argument when your (presumably) PFB is 3 years old and some kid at the playcentre has been monopolising a toy that he wants to play with.

The three year old is also a child and a fairly young one at that - would it have killed you or your son to share the toy if the other child was that upset about ?

Rapaccioli Tue 31-May-11 13:59:58

I thought you were going to say that "Tarquin's toys are his own and he doesn't have to share, why should he!" a la certain former (and Christ do I mean former!) family member of mine.

Faced with a polite request to get allow Johnny to play with the Brio trainset too or to allow Susan to be on the climbing frame with him, your son should be made to share imho.

Faced with a child who is tantrumming and stropping because he wants your son's toy, and a mother who seems to think this is the way for him to get it, YADamnNotBU!

strawberrie Tue 31-May-11 14:00:10


That situation is more about taking turns than sharing, 3 yo should have been told he needs to wait his turn. After another 5/10 minutes I would have been encouraging your 2 yo to let the other child have a turn.

Bananamash Tue 31-May-11 14:00:22

YANBU. This happens to me frequently.

DooinMeCleanin Tue 31-May-11 14:03:54

nancydrew how is playing with a toy for 5 minutes monopolising it? confused

Op -YANBU. My two have always been taught that life is not always fair, you do not always get what you want the minute you ask for it. Sometimes you have to wait/take turns.

Now the older one is 7 I do encourage her to be more grown up and allow the younger ones to have the toys etc.

grumblinalong Tue 31-May-11 14:08:28

YANBU OP - it drives me mad when DS2 (3) is playing really happily and nicely with a toy and my nephew (nearly 3) kicks off when DS2 doesn't want to hand it over. DN does this with pretty much every toy DS picks to play with (as 2 year olds do). My mum & sister immediately tell DS2 to 'share' it, which he does because he is a good little boy who listens to adults, but even DS2 understands on some level that he hasn't been told to share it but to give it to DN. It's inherently unfair and bad parenting.

I try not to use the word 'share' now because I think as a concept its really difficult for little kids to understand - 'take turns' with it seems to get a better response.

Continuum Tue 31-May-11 14:14:32

YANBU! I don't get that attitude! If ds ever wanted a toy some other child had he would be told no, that child is playing with it, play with something else!

camdancer Tue 31-May-11 14:18:56

YANBU. I have a timer on my watch that is set for 1 minute for that sort of occasion. I just say that DD has the toy now, but when my watch beeps she'll give it to the other child. Usually she'll pass it over before the timer goes off, but sometimes she needs a reminder. It is a hard lesson to learn that sharing doesn't always mean you get your turn first.

livinginazoo Tue 31-May-11 14:53:26

Nancydrew, seriously? Nope not my PFB, my youngest child. If we were somewhere with one single car that several children had to share, I could understand, but there were two children involved and lots and lots of cars. He had the toy for 5 minutes. It was more the attitude of the mother that just bugged me, that her screaming foot stamping child should get its way no matter what! The other kid just walked over from another part of the room and demanded it! And that the other mother was trying to pry it out of my very unwilling child's hand! And hell, why on earth should he give it up if he really didn't want to (again since there were lots of other toys free)! I would not give up my chair in a cafe (with a nearly full cup of coffee next to me) because someone insisted they wanted it now, it was better than all the other empty chairs, and were going to have a hissy fit if I didn't just agree with them and play nice!

Camdancer, to be honest, under normal circumstances I would encourage my children to be thoughtful and pass it on fairly soon (a couple of minutes), particularly when they get a little older and I can reason with them a little better. When the situation is reversed I am always grateful that some kid parent/child will pass a toy on, but I would never insist on it and never ever remove it from another child for my child's benefit (unless it had been forcibly removed by an older child in front of me, in which case I might intervene depending).

ManicAnnie Tue 31-May-11 14:55:36

You are both taking your darling little PFBs needs/wants too seriously.


Lighten up.

You sound as loopy as she does.

coccyx Tue 31-May-11 14:56:03

the older child needs to understand that throwing a tantrum will not get him what he wants.
Playing with a toy for 5 mins is hardly monopolising!!

tiredgranny Tue 31-May-11 15:02:15


catwhiskers10 Tue 31-May-11 15:02:19

If your DC gave up the toy, I think that would tell the other child that if he screams loudly enough, he'll get whatever he wants even if it belongs to/ is being used by someone else.

JjandtheBeanlovesUnicorns Tue 31-May-11 15:08:17

YANBU the whole 'sharing' debate really annoys me, why should they share the ONE toy they are playing with? Fair enough if they have 5 cars or on a climbing frame type thing, but I don't share my phone, car, current book and so on <gets off soapbox>

BertieBasset Tue 31-May-11 15:08:20

I tell dd she has to share if it is something that can be shared iykwim or it is something another child is playing with that is hers. I.e. just because it is hers does not mean she cannot share her belongings and let others use them.

It would never occur to me to tell another child to share a toy they were playing with at a playgroup. First come first served.

nancydrewfoundaclue Tue 31-May-11 15:19:18

Yes seriously.

If you have older children then you should remember what it is like to be a three year old. They are not the most reasonable and nor can you expect them to be. Toddlers always want what other children have. It is just the way it is.

And if you were more put out by the mums behaviour perhaps it would be best not to describe a three year old as a "spoiled brat".

iskra Tue 31-May-11 15:27:20

We recently had this. 2 yo was playing with cars. 3 yo really wanted one of the cars to play with. 3 yo on floor screaming & crying. 2 yo mum said that he was too young to know how to share. I believe in making htem take turns actually.

COCKadoodledooo Tue 31-May-11 15:27:51


Sounds like the 3yo gets his attitude from his mother wink

Am glad our toddler group is not like this. There is a child (3yo) who in that toddler self-centric way always wants a toy as soon as someone else starts playing with it (that had been discarded some time before), but her parent always tells her she must wait until the other child is finished. That's the way I prefer it and it's what I did with ds1 at that age. Tantrums should never be rewarded - child OR parent wink

vintageteacups Tue 31-May-11 15:34:52

YANBU at all.

If though, there was only one toy and moer than one child, then I'd do my "I'll count to 20 and then it's next child's turn for 20" type thing. we do this sometimes with turns on play equipment too and it seems to work quite well.

But other posters are right, if he thinks people will always give up the toy they're playing with, then he'll be a spolit brat for the rest of his life.

livinginazoo Tue 31-May-11 15:50:28

ManicAnnie... loopy maybe- tbh more bored, tired, its half term... You are taking it just as seriously ;-)

Nancydrew on the other hand. Yes toddlers always want what others have. Particularly if they are treated like divas/princes and are allowed to do as they wish. Spoiled brat... ok point taken, but the child was not in any way parented for snatching, screaming, shouting, throwing hard toys... and I don't mean punished I do know what a 3 y.o. is like, but the mum didn't even talk to him properly, just looked over him, didn't comfort him, didn't teach him, didn't play with him. So perhaps more neglected child. :-( Maybe you are right that was what has niggled me the most.

midori1999 Tue 31-May-11 15:53:57

YANBU. It is just as important for a child to learn that they cannot always have what they want when they want it, so may have to wait for a turn as it is for children to learn to give other children turns.

Why on earth didn't the other Mother just say that another child was playing with that toy at the moment and perhaps they could have a turn in a minute when the first child had finished with it? confused

livinginazoo Tue 31-May-11 15:56:18

Iskra, yes absolutely, taking turns is a very good thing to learn. But I do also want to teach my child that he doesn't always have to give things up to others immediately, I have visions of him going to school and having his things snatched by bullies because he is doing what mummy taught him. There is a balance! I do not believe at 2 you are too young to learn to share, but at the same time at 3 you are way bigger size wise and need to know that you can't use your height and weight to get your way. And worse adults should know the same!!!

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