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How to help distraught 3yo to learn to share?

(10 Posts)
HollyFP Thu 07-Jul-11 14:39:57

I've just come back from taking my DD (11 months) to my MiL's, where she looks after my DNephew (3.3 yrs) 3 days a week. My DD started playing with his toy cars, and he became increasingly upset, to the point where he was bawling his eyes out and needed to speak to his mum. Through his tears I eventually worked out that he was upset because my DD was playing with his cars. I gave them back to him straight away and he calmed down.

I understand this is a developmental stage - learning to share - but is there anything I can do to help when I see him like this? I feel sad for him that he gets so upset.

MiL cuddles him but generally tells him to 'be a big boy' and not be so possessive. hmm

mamadordogne Thu 07-Jul-11 15:56:58

There may well be a deeper reason behind his behaviour, see if the same behaviour erupts when it come to sharing other toys (not the cars).

HollyFP Thu 07-Jul-11 17:29:10

What could the deeper reason be? I will look out for it next time although don't really want to engineer a situation that would cause him to be so upset.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Thu 07-Jul-11 18:40:06

to a child that age sharing just means being made to give it to someone else.

Try taking in turns instead. It's easier for them to get their head round. I have a turn, you have a turn, i have a turn again.... smile

Firawla Thu 07-Jul-11 18:44:19

what about asking him first if he will share them, so he kind of thinks the idea is coming from him?
i also have a 3 yr old who can really get angry about children taking his trains, train track etc but its more if they just do it uninvited whereas if i speak to him first that so&so wants to have a go with the trains, can you share with them he will atleast have the chance to chose a couple of give them (maybe his least prefered ones most of the time, but still) then he will accept it fairly okay. also sometimes asking him to show the younger one how to use it, can sometimes work cos they will let the little one have a go but they feel a bit in authority cos they are supposed to be teaching them.
i do think its fairly normal, if babies just come and take the toys without any discussion, then children of that age can become upset? obviously its not the babies fault, but for eg if he was trying to have some kind of game with them or he had a certain plan for them and he feels like it has been invaded and ruined, it explains the reaction? less so if he was not using it at the time himself though.. but my ds will do the same if for eg he is at toddler group and made a nice train track, playing a game with it and parents allow their young crawling babies to just come and smash the track up, he will go crazy! then sometimes if he sees young babies approaching he starts to get upset in advance because he thinks they will do that? so could also be your nephew has had other young babies doing these things previously so he suspected your dd of going to cause trouble with the cars even if she wasnt?

HollyFP Thu 07-Jul-11 18:44:45

Good idea MoonFace, will try that. What if he doesn't grasp the concept and bawls straightaway?!

HollyFP Thu 07-Jul-11 18:47:16

DNephew sadly is not exposed to any other babies and hardly any other kids his age; I do wonder if that plays a part?
Anyhow good advice re asking first.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Thu 07-Jul-11 19:15:09

i doubt it plays a part holly, he's only just at a point where he can begin to understand that other people have a pov. Psychologists reckon there's little point in socialising for under threes. They (and more importantly the parents) might enjoy it, but they aren't really learning social skills iyswim.

Start off with really short goes and explain befor hand that x will have a go, then y, then x again, then y till they don't want to play anymore. My nephew got this really well as a similar age. Might work well if you share something with him first, taking turns to have bites of a snack or something. So he has nothing to loose first time. smile

DuffytheVampireSlayer Thu 07-Jul-11 19:53:15

It's a long battle! We are still having tantrums from DS (4 last week) over sharing. The my turn/you turn might work occasionally but we are persevering.

Octaviapink Fri 08-Jul-11 07:55:15

I think it's perfectly reasonable for children to be protective over their toys. They don't understand why it's ok for adults to say 'no, you can't touch that' and not for them to be able to say it with their stuff. I have every sympathy with them. Turn-taking is better than enforced 'sharing' but even then I think children should be allowed to say who gets to play with their stuff.

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