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Siblings sharing

(13 Posts)
PoisonMountain Thu 27-Sep-12 09:56:38

Please give me some advice! My 6month old is now mobile and her object is DS's duplo train tracks and train. Trains are his favoured thing at the moment, he has played with this train every day since he got it when he was 15months. He is now nearly 3. He is obviously unimpressed, bats her hands away, pushes her away etc. he puts down whatever he is playing with and charges to the defence of his beloved train. I've tried telling him she's so fascinated with it because she sees that he loves it so much and therefore wants to play with it like him. It's not working!

How do I get them to share things? I had an older sibling and I still resent that she was allowed to play with all my toys "because they are actually mine and I'm just letting you play with them", she was allowed to come and take anything out of my room, books toys etc whilst I was never allowed to even put my foot (and yes I do mean that literally) in her room. I don't expect him to share everything with her, they should each be allowed their own things. But what system to have in place?

I had thought to go down the lines of it you don't want the other to play with it, it stays in your bedroom, but that's obviously not practical with a train set. Nor do I want them to feel they have to stay in their rooms (like I had to whereas my sister was allowed to play with her things in the living room) to play with their favourite toys.

I feel like I'm forever telling DS that DD's not doing any harm, let her play but I don't know if this is fair. He certainly doesn't think so. I know I don't always want to share my iPad with DS! The problem is that most of DD's toys were in fact DS's baby toys. Some he seems to remember as his and doesn't want her to play with. Others, that he never played with e.g. the soft toys, he doesn't care if she plays with. But I feel a bit mean giving her his toys if that makes sense.

What works in your home?

PoisonMountain Thu 27-Sep-12 09:57:49

Gosh, that was long. Sorry. Maybe I'm over-thinking things and should just let them fight it out (when she's a bit bigger)!

BrevilleTron Thu 27-Sep-12 10:37:40

Separate toy boxes? Ask DS to 'show' DD how to play with the train? Lots of praise for DS?
If DD has most of DS's old toys could you tell him that it is because he is such a big boy that the baby toys can be given to DD and he is such a lovely brother to do so? Any way of getting DD her own elc train? Just thoughts.

DeWe Thu 27-Sep-12 11:03:25

Tbh at 6 months all she wants to do with the train track is pick it up and chew it... then move on and break another bit of the track. So I have a lot of sympathy for your ds.
If she was wanting to push the trains round and he didn't want her to, then he needs to be sharing. But when she is spoiling his game, it's not she wants to play too really.

I remember when dd1 was little we used to have friends round with 2 boys either side of her in age. They often got out the train set and played together. When dd2 was born, their older boy looked at her and sighed. "Now," he said "we won't be able to play trains because the baby will break it."
He'd never said anything about his brother doing it, but he obviously remembered, and it had upset him.

I would put the train set as "his" toy. And protect it from her pulling at it. Perhaps get her own train (could your ds buy it for her as a present?), but I'll bet she still wants whichever one he's pushing round at that precise moment. Have train track time (in the living room) and non train track time.

However I'd work on sharing other things. Could he choose something for her to play with so she doesn't take his trains? If they are baby toys, go for the "big boy" approach. But be sympathetic, say don't give her his favourite toy just because it says on the packaging for age under 2yo.

My parents on a few things decided my db was more in need of it than me, and I found something I used/liked had suddenly been redefined as his because they thought it was more suitable. It made me much more possessive, as I felt very insecure about things belonging to me.

Personally I think if you make too much of her "wanting to play with him" he'll have had enough of it by the time she is actually old enough to join in a game.

One thing my dc liked playing "with" the just crawling younger one was tower building. They would build a tower in one part of the room. Baby crawls over and knocks it down. Leave baby chewing on one brick. Rush over to other side of room, and build new tower. The game is to see how high before they knock it down. Usually ended in floods of laughter for both.

ZuleikaD Thu 27-Sep-12 12:11:51

I wouldn't make him share. Both my DCs know they don't have to share their own personal stuff (there are lots of things that are 'everyone's') - if they want to borrow someone else's things then they ask permission and if the other says no, that goes. I think you have to support your DS in not letting your 6mo play with the trainset.

SavoyCabbage Thu 27-Sep-12 12:16:19

I think they are not able to share yet as they want different things. He should be able to play a game with his trains without his sister breaking up the track. I would set aside a room with a baby gate on for him or put his trains in a playpen so he can play.

Let him play other things with his sister that she can join in with.

FireOverBabylon Thu 27-Sep-12 12:28:13

Could your son have his train track on a table, so it's out of your DD's reach?

familyfun Thu 27-Sep-12 14:42:05

my dds are 5 and 2 now, but dd1 has a couple of high shelves in the toy cupbaord to store anything she doesnt want dd2 to spoil. she has to do big girl games at the table or during dd2s nap time or sometimes in her room. if train set/tea sets/lego is got out infront of dd2 it is to share and she plays supervised. all nice books kept up high, then all baby books/board books on a low bookcase they can both reach.

exexpat Thu 27-Sep-12 14:50:56

I don't think you can expect a 3yo to 'share' his trains with a 6mo. They want to do completely different things with them - actually play with them versus chew them/break up the tracks. Trying to force the 3yo to 'share' will just cause resentment, which he will then take out on the baby when you are not looking.

You'd do better trying to encourage him to play with the baby sometimes with her toys (she'll love it if he gives her rattles etc & she can give them back to him, or if he builds a stack of something she can knock over, or 'reads' a picture book with her etc) and giving him a safe area where he can play with his own toys. As he gets older and moves on to toys with smaller pieces (proper lego, cars with tiny wheels etc) it will become dangerous for her to have access to them anyway.

I ended up building a fence across the living room floor with a dismantled playpen so that DS (5) could get on with his lego and so on without DD (1) destroying it.

Actually sharing and co-operative play won't really happen until they are much older and the two/three year age gap is not such a big issue.

PoisonMountain Fri 28-Sep-12 07:50:09

Thanks. I know I'm getting a bit ahead of myself with the whole play together thing, but thought maybe if there were guidelines in place now, it wouldn't be such an issue later.

When I say play with his train tracks, I don't mean to let her dismantle it. But when it is already dismantled strewn over the floor, courtesy of DS and he is playing with something else,is it really an issue that she picks up a piece of track or inspects the engine? (Clearly he feels so, but is that reasonable or just him being possessive?) He always takes whatever she is playing with off her, even when it's really baby stuff that he hasn't used for a year or two or her toys that were given to her.

I spent yesterday morning playing trains with him in the living room and have now built his duplo track so she can't pull it apart, but it is still on the floor. He already has the wooden railway in his bedroom which is just for him.

DH doesn't believe in play pens or gates, so that is not an option! Am I just being mean saying if its out and he's not playing with it, then she can? We have 5 boxes in the living room. Should I make one his, one hers and the others communal? Is that fair?

Bumpsadaisie Fri 28-Sep-12 08:55:51

We've found that saying Dd's toys are still hers but baby Ds is borrowing them as they are too babyish for her, works quite well. He lends her his teddies in return!

Iggly Fri 28-Sep-12 09:01:47

What I do (DD is 9 months, DS almost 3) is not permit snatching. DS and DD both have to ask (obviously I ask on DD's behalf). If DS says no, then I tell him to get something else for DD to play with and chew

Some times it works well, sometimes not but I keep trying and I'm seeing an improvement.

All toys are in a communal area anyway but some things are DS's and DD has her own boxes too. So DS knows where to get toys from for his sister.

Occasionally DS surprises me by giving DD some of his precious trains - for which he gets loads of praise!

You cant keep them apart (won't work when they're older) so have to negotiate it.

Do make sure you pull your eldest into your lap while the baby watches so he feels special too and less likely to get jealous!

Iggly Fri 28-Sep-12 09:02:55

Just to add we never refer to any of DS's old baby toys as his (even if they were) - same with any hand me downs. That way DS cannot make a claim to them and sees that DD has her own stuff too.

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