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AIBU not to force DD (3) to share with DN (2)

(88 Posts)
curlytoes Wed 09-Apr-14 12:33:45

Here goes! Have never posted here before and am ready to be told I am being rubbish or just fussing.

DN(2) has a lovely, sweet personality. She's always willing to share. My DD (3) is ok sharing 'normal' toys but is possessive when things are brand new. I personally think this is quite normal for her age. I encourage her to be kind to others but think it's ok for her to want to keep a new gift to herself for a while.

At Christmas I found this quite stressful. Dsis let DN 'help' unwrap my child's gifts and tried to make DD share instantly. My DD was not happy and I was not willing to force her to share her new presents. DD did however play with her cousin's new toys but only after asking and only if DN was happy. My Dsis felt that this was unfair which I can understand a bit but FWIW my older DSs were very kind letting their little cousin have a go with all their new big boy things.

Dsis and DN are coming to DDs forth birthday party on Saturday and staying for the weekend. I'm not sure how to avoid any upset. I really want it to be a happy time.

Should I have a chat with Dsis or AIBU not to make DD share her presents.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 09-Apr-14 12:35:40

Sorry..I think you should be teaching her to share even new toys. Obviously she can have first shot but I think YABU.

Bowlersarm Wed 09-Apr-14 12:38:22

Yabu. I think you are teaching her to be selfish.

shakinstevenslovechild Wed 09-Apr-14 12:38:29

At Christmas you should have said no to your dd playing with your dns new toys. It is fine to have rules, and I wouldn't want anyone playing with my dcs new things before they did either, however the rules need to be set in all circumstances, not just in favour of your dd.

wheresthelight Wed 09-Apr-14 12:40:04

I think your dsis needs to get a grip!!! Her child had her own gifts but was allowed to open your child's ones?! Entitled or what?!

I think you should encourage your dd to share more willingly but she is 4 and something new is special! So for that reason yanbu!

Davsmum Wed 09-Apr-14 12:42:30

You should teach your DD to share BUT - I don't agree that you should have to allow your DN to help her unwrap her presents. Once opened and your DD has had a look at them - then encourage the sharing, but give her a chance to relish her new stuff!
Personally, I would be there when the presents were being opened and if anyone tried to unwrap them with her I would say, nicely, 'No,.. let her unwrap them on her own and then she may let you have a play with them soon'
As well as you teaching her to share - other children need to be taught to wait a while!

glenthebattleostrich Wed 09-Apr-14 12:42:30

A not unreasonable from me.

I hat when children are allowed to 'help' unwrap other people's resens, especially other children. And I think it is perfectly acceptable for a child to not share their toy. After all if someone decided they wanted a turn of my new phone or bag for example I'd be pretty p'd off.

I do think you are unreasonable letting your child go after your neices toys though, it works both ways.

rinabean Wed 09-Apr-14 12:42:30

It's not selfish to want to unwrap your own gifts, YANBU at all

Hoppinggreen Wed 09-Apr-14 12:42:34

Actually I agree with you.
My DD is 9 and her 5 year old cousin absolutely worships her. Wants to do everything she does and have everything she does. That is ok and DD is usually very kind and doesn't mind but sometimes she has had enough.
We have had times where she has been told she's mean for not letting DN have something or sit on her or play with her and my in laws aren't very good at telling DN " NO"
There's a bigger age gap so it's easier for my DD to understand but I don't think your Dd should have to let her cousin unwrap her presents and play with toys she hasn't had a chance to play with herself yet.
No advice on how to handle it I'm afraid, I just tend to take my DD out of the way ( and tell DN she can't follow us) but that's probably not an option for you.

blackteaplease Wed 09-Apr-14 12:44:05

I think yanbu, I don't think children should be forced to share brand new presents. I do encourage both dc to share normal toys though.

Not sure what you can do really, I would have a word with your dsis about the present opening. That is definitely u.

curlytoes Wed 09-Apr-14 12:46:02

I don't want to be the AIBU person who won't see reason but I just want to throw this into the mix! If Dsis had say, a new top for Christmas, I would never say, 'Ooo that looks like it would suit me. Can I wear it right now?' However, a month down the line I might ask to borrow it! So isn't it normal to treat new stuff differently for a while even as adults?

HairyPorter Wed 09-Apr-14 12:47:09

I don't think yabu. I remember reading somewhere that being forced to share is not necessarily a good thing. Will try to find that paper.

angelohsodelight Wed 09-Apr-14 12:47:15

Your DN was helping your dd with opening her gifts?! presents? No way, unacceptable.

Feminine Wed 09-Apr-14 12:48:02


Of course she must share, sounds like she does.

Just not brand new things to start right?

By Start I mean about 15 mins or so.

My sister let her daughter open all my son's Christmas presents (when he was just 3)

MaoamMuncher Wed 09-Apr-14 12:48:14

Sharing is over rated. It basically means 'gimme your stuff' !!

HairyPorter Wed 09-Apr-14 12:49:09

This isn't the site I had seen it on but it has similar info on why it's not good to make kids share! link

PurplePidjin Wed 09-Apr-14 12:51:10

WTF was dn doing opening your dd's gifts? Were her own not enough for her?!

Normally I would encourage all toys to be "communal" with a certain amount of dd/dn was playing with that, wait your turn please. But Christmas and birthday presents that have only just been opened? Nah.

I would keep all presents to one side to be opened later "because we don't want dd getting over-excited" aka "keep dn's mitts OFF" hmm

Bowlersarm Wed 09-Apr-14 12:53:22

But isn't it going to be really difficult for your 2 year old dn to watch her cousin open all her shiny new presents and be told to sit on her hands whilst her cousin plays with her new toys without sharing them?

I don't see how it's going to work without causing huge upset especially if your sister gets cross about it and doesn't support your way of doing it.

curlytoes Wed 09-Apr-14 12:55:16

Interesting link Hairy. Thank you. At least not everyone thinks I'm unreasonable. It's so hard to be objective about my own kids and my own parenting.

curlytoes Wed 09-Apr-14 12:58:11

I know Bowlers, I know! I've always enjoyed the quiet, just us, bit after the crazy kids parties but I can't say that DSis can't stay so we'll have to work it somehow.

rumbleinthrjungle Wed 09-Apr-14 13:01:07

There's a difference between children playing with a group of toys together and a child being expected to just hand over a brand new item to another child and not showing their feelings about it. As to 'helping unwrap her gifts'.... if an adult member of my family insisted on 'helping' me unwrap a gift I'd just been given and then demanded to be allowed to take it away and have a first go with it at the very least I'd probably be snarling quietly about it on AIBU. grin

wheresthelight Wed 09-Apr-14 13:03:28

Just thought...but could you get dn a little something (£shops are good) so that she can be distracted whilst your dd opens her gifts?

StackALee Wed 09-Apr-14 13:03:40

DSis will probably feel very differently when her DD is 3.

Trust me.

To avoid upset remove anything that your DD finds precious, anything special that you know she might have a hard time sharing. I would even make sure that there are duplicates, so for example if your DD has a doll she likes then make sure there is another doll available that you can give to DN.

I think in cases like this you have to be clear and you can say things like 'oh, DN, that's one of DD's very new presents so she's going to want to play with it first because it's special. How about you have this toy instead'

Of course children need to be able to learn to share appropriately but let's just say for example that it was your 30th Birthday and someone gave you a great new much wanted book and your sister took it and started flicking through it and reading bits out and then when you asked to have it back she said 'no' - that would be a bit crap, no?

JonathanGirl Wed 09-Apr-14 13:05:22

I think it depends on the gift - if two people can easily play with it together, then I would encourage sharing - things like a marble run, building blocks, happy land figures, crayons, play doh etc can have both children joining in, and it's nice to be inclusive.
Something you have to take turns with - doll, scooter, hobby horse, dressing up outfit etc - totally different, birthday child should always get the first turn, other children should actually ask if they can have a turn, and only after the birthday child has finished playing with it.

christinarossetti Wed 09-Apr-14 13:05:46

I've never got this 'you've got to share' thing with young children. Do I want to share my clothes, gadgets, make up, car etc with anyone who fancies them? No, I do not although, of course, often share, give, lend etc items when I'm happy to do so.

I think 'taking it in turns' is more realistic and respectful to the strong feelings involved with small children.

At this age, I would let your dd open her family gifts on her birthday but keep the others until after your visitors have gone, remembering to thank the givers and explain that you're trying to avoid emotional angst amongst pre-schoolers.

If you need to explain at all to your dsis, just say that you found Xmas stressful and are trying to limit opportunities for arguments between the children.

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