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3 year old can't share, constant tears - tips please

(11 Posts)
Girlsville Thu 11-Apr-13 14:29:59

DD1 recently turned 3. Since then she has refused to take it in turns with toys, share etc. She fights constantly with DD2, who is about to turn 2, ending in both of them crying, and now also cries when anyone else tries to take her toys on playdates. she actually used to be good at sharing when she was younger and even during the terrible twos.

A lot of the problem I suspect is because she has to constantly share everything with DD2, who is so close in age and has a lot of same interests, and so they have both become very territorial and possessive. It just makes it v difficult if people come over, and also when we go out - for example yesterday we had a major meltdown at a soft play when she got off the trampoline to give someone else their turn.

I know it is difficult for some children to share, and do not expect her to happily share everything, but she is getting worse as she gets older and the cries are getting louder. Any advice appreciated.

JakeBullet Fri 12-Apr-13 12:05:16

Don't despair, she will get there. They do seem to go through a phase where they suddenly get the concept of "mine" and find it hard to move from "mine but you can use it too". She will get there, just praise any time that she does manage to share anything and grit your teeth the other times. grin.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Fri 12-Apr-13 12:09:59

Ok, things I did were:

Share generously as a role model 'would you like to see this' 'would you like some of my toast' etc

Before friends come, discuss which toys they want to share and which to put away. Gives a bit of control. Then talk about sharing.

Sit down on the floor to manage sharing proactively

For play dates buy two new tiny things or set up parallel activities to avoid conflict altogether

Ignore tantrums about it as much as possible and really praise any sharing you do see

sedgieloo Fri 12-Apr-13 13:02:59

We've being going through this - awful isn't it! Swishswosh gives great advice. I found play dates the worst. I'd suggest going out for play dates when possible or doing activities like: dancing, balloons, indoor tents and tunnels, drawing on lining paper (each with own pile of crayons) and removing any flashpoint items (toddler stroller and trikes are trouble toys here). Also praise any sharing like mad, even awarding stars and talking loudly about it to dad, grandma etc.

I also took to forcing sharing a bit. That seemed wrong a first but she was taking every item handed to her baby brother. And enough was enough :S

Girlsville Fri 12-Apr-13 15:19:40

Thanks all, lots of good tips which I will try and put into practice when we have a playmate this afternoon. Have asked her which toys she wants to put away and she has chosen a couple ( buggy etc) and we will see what happens.

toobreathless Fri 12-Apr-13 18:08:04

Does she share a room with her sister? Can you give her a little shelf/box that is hers to keep her 'special things' in away from DD2.

I would also try a small bag of sweeties (jelly tots or magic stars) tip them onto a plate and give each child a bag, then they can take turns to pick a sweet and put it in their bag.

Make some cakes together? Practice sharing jobs and turn taking.

CoteDAzur Fri 12-Apr-13 18:14:05

Try the concept of "taking turns" rather than "sharing".

SwishSwoshSwoosh Fri 12-Apr-13 18:17:44

How did it go? It seems your dd is wise, a pushchair always starts monstrous rows for some reason! I used to put any push along toys away. In fact just give them a piece of coal each and that's it!

FreyaKItty Fri 12-Apr-13 21:00:44

Super nanny recommends calling it taking turns. I also got a cheap ikea egg timer so equal turns. This seemed to help dd understand she'd get it back iykwim. Dd is 3.4 now and happily shares most of the time.

FreyaKItty Fri 12-Apr-13 21:03:05

Sorry egg timer for equal length turns or measuring eg, jumps on trampoline etc.

freetrait Fri 12-Apr-13 23:05:07

It's hard to share at 3, and even 4. Give her a break. At the same time make some rules and kindly enforce them- eg whoever has a toy first gets to play first and then should share with sibling/friend. This goes for everything apart from maybe one or two special toys which are special so don't have to be shared.

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