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To think that "sharing" at toddler groups actually means...

(25 Posts)
Sleepglorioussleep Tue 27-Sep-11 10:40:15

... Give whatever you have just started playing with to the next person who comes along, whether or not you've had a proper okay with it. Not always of course but frequently. I feel ds's pain!

Sleepglorioussleep Tue 27-Sep-11 10:40:32

Proper play!

Aislingorla Tue 27-Sep-11 11:25:45

This annoys me, children cannot understand the concept of sharing until they are at least 3. I would like to say to the parent(s) asking my child to 'share' do they share their things!

scuzy Tue 27-Sep-11 11:28:54

unless i feel my child has hogged a toy for long enough i would say to the child "oh look there's another car over there" etc.

but i see your plight. ironically at the weekend my nieve took a hat off my other niece. both mums were giving out to either kids ... one mum saying "listen you have to share" the other mum" listen stop crying that was her's first"!

i just sat back and was glad my lad was in the corner sitting on a tractor picking his nose!

Miggsie Tue 27-Sep-11 11:29:52

I read a fascinating article yesterday about this where it was observed that young boys try to claim toys while girls try to emulate the playing of the other child...but also noticed that in arguments about toys mothers/fathers supported their son's right to have the toy he had claimed, while with girls the mothers/fathers supported the other child's right to the toy....suggesting it is all socially influenced.
It also noted the behaviours depended on how aware the young child was of themselves and "others", i.e. the development of social skills.

Toddler groups are therefore a minefield!

fedupofnamechanging Tue 27-Sep-11 11:31:07

Am so glad those days are over for me. Mine are all in school now and I no longer have to brave the toddler group smile

DeWe Tue 27-Sep-11 11:35:53

I always went for the direct approach. "Dc's just started playing with it, it'll be your turn next." Then tell dc "i'll give you 2(or 5 whatever appropriate) minutes then you must give it over".

I'd give dc 30 seconds warning, and then tell them to hand it over. It was rare they didn't hand it over when asked. More often they'd be handing to the other child who now has no interest in it and they get it back again shortly.

aldiwhore Tue 27-Sep-11 11:43:00

I think the idea of sharing is often scewed into something equally as unfair as not sharing!

Wait your turn, pass it over when you're done, play WITH someone else... there's a time and place for all.


TheyCallMeKipper Tue 27-Sep-11 11:50:31

This is the absolutely most stressful part of toddler groups for me.

I can walk in by myself (well, with the dcs obviously), talk to other mums, play with the children, sing the songs and do all the actions without finding it too embarrassing these days - BUT when a child tries to take something off my dc or vice versa I find it inordinately stressful. Especially if the other parent hasn't seen but their child is crying because my ds doesn't want the toy he's just picked up taking off him, but the other child is trying to snatch it off him, and it looks like it may have been the other way round.

I say 'let's take turns' etc but I find it really hard and totally understand why both parties feel agrieved!

TheyCallMeKipper Tue 27-Sep-11 11:52:35

And no, YANBU - it's not sharing is it? It is just give up a toy you're playing with. My ds got a tractor thrown at his head for not wanting to give up a car a few weeks ago sad

minimisschief Tue 27-Sep-11 11:59:01

when a parent says to you after their child takes something off of your child

'well they need to learn to share'

you say no your child needs to learn not to steal from other children

having a child swipe something from another child and running off with it isn't sharing

LunarRose Tue 27-Sep-11 12:04:25

YANBU to think this.

It's even more frustrating with a son with ASD for whom doesn't understand social niceties at all and needs extra teaching to share

It also doesn't stop with pre-school or the children.

Example in point: Day at farm, Ds having been playing in the company of other children quite peaceful for a good 1/2 hour, got off the tractor to load something in the trailer. Mum sailed in, give DS tractor to her son (plenty of other tractors available) "Here use this one". Cue DS in hysterics being restrained from getting said tractor back by whatever means neccessary!!! It was the end of the day for DS who was so upset he had to be taken home.

How am I supposed to teach sharing when MUMS take toys away children! confused

GwendolineMaryLacey Tue 27-Sep-11 12:08:38

I'm in two minds about this. If your child has been hogging something for ages then it's polite to offer it to someone else. But, as has been pointed out on here, we put such emphasis on the importance of sharing and yet, we're not that happy sharing ourselves. If I'm sitting on a train with my iPad and the bloke next to me asks if he can have a go as I've had it for ages, I'd quite rightly tell him to naff off.

Sharing seems to be shorthand for teaching your child a bit of social awareness but it's debatable how important sharing is.

MinnieBar Tue 27-Sep-11 12:08:47

Thank you OP - I have been wondering lately if I should take DD2 to some toddler groups on the mornings I have her to myself, and you have reminded me why I absolutely SHOULDN'T. Appreciate it!!

LunarRose Tue 27-Sep-11 12:09:46

Oh and I can't count the times when I have persuaded DS to go up to another child who's been on something for ages, get him to say/sign please that the other child, with parent present, just glares at him.

How am I supposed to teach him that asking nicely is good if he never gets toy that way?

ILoatheMickeyMouseClubhouse Tue 27-Sep-11 12:11:49

My 2 year old DS is usually the child that wanders round snatching toys off of other children; I always, always make him give it back and distract him by finding him something else to play with. I would never expect a child to just give him something they're happily playing with, when he would literally hold it for 5 seconds, throw it down and go and snatch off someone else anyway.

On the flip side, I was in an ELC branch the other day with a big play area with happyland toys for kids to play in. DS went over and started playing with a garage. There was already an older boy there of 4 or 5 playing with another toy and he immediately walked over to DS and snatched the cars he was playing with from the garage. The mum stood there smiling indulgently so I said to him "Can my DS have those cars back? He was enjoying playing with them" and the mum huffed and puffed and made a comment about how no child enjoyed sharing but did eventually make him give them back.

I think some parents do struggle to deal with situations like this.

Kladdkaka Tue 27-Sep-11 12:26:05

GwendolineMaryLacey that's my thoughts too. My daughter has AS and therefore very narrow interests. There was one particular tricycle at toddler group that appealed to her. There were several others which looked pretty much identical, but no, it had to be that one. She wasn't interested in any other toys there. We'd arrive and she'd hide behind my leg until that bike became free, sometimes waiting for most of the session. Once it was free, she'd be there like lightening and then would ride it round and round in little circles in a happy world of her own, bothering nobody. It seemed wrong to me to make her get off if another child wanted it.

TandB Tue 27-Sep-11 12:31:04

I just wish there was a consensus. It is incredibly difficult trying to explain to a barely 2 year-old that just because someone else has been allowed to do something, that doesn't make it right for him to do it too.

We go to a Sunday morning soft-play/gym that is generally full of parents who are pretty good about enforcing queuing, not snatching etc, but there are always a small minority who make no attempt to do so. DS is in a copying phase where he will immediately attempt to do anything he sees another child do - which was particularly fun on the way out of nursery the other day when a much older child was doing her best to kung-fu kick the disabled access button and I had to drag away a screaming toddler who wanted to help her destroy it!

So DS will quite happily queue and go round the apparatus in the proper way. And then a couple of children started climbing up the side and pushing to the front of the queue for the slide. DS of course then wanted to do it and we finished up with a huge tantrum with screams of "boy did it" when I wouldn't let him do the same. He was then a little confused when, having queued for a go on the trampoline, another couple let their 2 older children get on it the second he climbed on so he couldn't play on it at all.

I know life isn't fair, but it is very hard to teach a small child to abide by social "rules" when other people seem to be playing by a completely different set of rules.

I don't tend to have the "sharing" problem too much as DS never sits still long enough for another child to get a toy off him! He also tends not to actually wrestle toys off other children, but he does watch them like a hawk, wait till they fall over/drop it and then swoop in, grab it and make off at speed, pursued by me screaming "DS, give it back!"

TandB Tue 27-Sep-11 12:36:20

Kladdkaka - you see I don't see why that should be a problem for most people, unless they have the mindset of 'why should that child have something my child doesn't have?'

The place we go to has so much to play on/with that it really doesn't matter if a child wants to play with the same thing for the entire session. Unless toys are in short supply, or there is one very obviously appealing toy that everyone wants to play with, I don't see why parents don't simply say 'someone else is using it' rather than 'you will get a turn soon'.

When there is plenty to do I don't really see the need for parental-enforced 'sharing'. I think it would be much less stressful for the children if the parents steered them to play with different things rather than raising an expectation of the other child giving the toy up within an arbitrary time-frame.

redexpat Tue 27-Sep-11 12:39:42

Have you people not seen the Michael MacIntyre routine?

TandB Tue 27-Sep-11 12:54:53

About what, redexpat? Toddler groups I assume? grin

porcamiseria Tue 27-Sep-11 13:04:53


BarbaraWoodlouse Tue 27-Sep-11 13:18:41

Gwendoline that's a slightly different situation IMO. If I were on the train I'd say loudly to the man "No, that's Gwendoline's own special iPad. There are lots of lovely British Rail coffee cups that can be shared, let's get you one of those".

Well obviously I wouldn't as I'd be sectioned but you get the gist. grin

Own toys are not for sharing. Toddler group toys slightly different rules apply.

GwendolineMaryLacey Tue 27-Sep-11 13:30:31

grin To which the bloke would throw himself down on the floor, kick his legs and passers by and scream... "nooooooooooooooooo I want iPad" whilst lobbing every lovely BR cup that you put in his reach grin

But then if another child was playing with yours at your house, would you make your dc share a particular toy that they owned and were playing with?

Sleepglorioussleep Tue 27-Sep-11 14:46:38

Glad it's not just me. Stopped toddler group for a while. I like everything except this. Ds has taken a long time to get verbal and whilst he hasn't really taken toys from others (mainly because I was on hand to do negotiations) he has been physical if toys taken from him. (mostly unsuccessfully as I can scoop him up very quickly wink) I try to take the approach that I deal with the wrongdoing, and remove from play, apologise etc. But I do care about why it happens too. And it makes me frustrated that we seem to expect the most in terms of sharing from those least able to do it. And who says everyone has to use every toy they want to every session. Ds has had to learn that some weeks he gets to ride in the police car and some not. Different if the same child has a key toy for a whole session or every week.

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