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How do you help your preschoolers deal with another child snatching a toy away when no adults around?

(6 Posts)
Elwyn Wed 20-Jan-16 07:15:23

How do you help your preschoolers deal with another child snatching a toy away when no adults around to help. If I am around to help I can say this little boy had it first and suggest that they share. This works but I can't see it working if my ds says it. At times I have suggested that he wait for the other child to relinquish the toy but this seems very passive... If ds says clearly he had it first, won't everything descend into big squabble, perhaps with hitting?

waterrat Wed 20-Jan-16 07:21:56

Honestly I think it's better for them to just learn that life is not always fair! ;

You are doing them a favour if you teach them to cope with such minor injustices as well as possible. It's not a big deal and you can just say oh dear that wasn't nice was it let's find another toy.

flanjabelle Wed 20-Jan-16 07:27:38

She will sometimes cry, and sometimes she just gets on with it and tries to play with the child or chooses something else. I have found she is more understanding if a younger child does it.

She is not a confrontational child though and never tries to snatch anything back or hit. I know this from watching her at a distance at toddler groups. She does find it upsetting though as she will tell me about it for days afterwards. We are still talking about the biscuit snatching episode from last Monday.

minipie Wed 20-Jan-16 13:27:27

Mine is a confrontational child unfortunately and has a tendency to have a strop or lash out if someone snatches from her. So I get where you are coming from OP.

I tried "go and find another toy" but she wasn't buying that. (Don't blame her tbh, it's completely unfair). I thought about "ask them to share" but then what happens if the other child says no? More recently I have been teaching her to go find an adult (me or teacher) and tell them even if they are not close by. That seems to work much better, and DD's nursery teacher is happy with it. The adult will not always give her the toy back of course but at least by then the red mist has passed and so it avoids hitting etc.

Yes I agree that children need to understand life isn't always fair but 2 or 3 is a bit young to really get that I think.

captainproton Wed 20-Jan-16 13:53:12

With my 2 and 3 year old it depends on whether it's their own special toy or a sharing toy. Special toys need to be respected and permission from the child who owns it. Sharing toys are first come first serve. I ask them to tell me if one has snatched from the other. 50pct of the time though they usually squabble over it and as long as there's no tantrums/hitting I let them get on with it. They have to learn at some point to deal with conflict and they do sometimes work out compromises on their own (rare but does happen).

If one resorts to violence or one is getting a bit too controlling and upsetting the other then they need to go in time out. I remind them no one is going to want to play with them if they hit and snatch toys and they need to share and ask to join in, and it's ok if the answer is no btw. Kids need their own space (this only applies to siblings who are always together and never get some chance to play alone and not at a toddler group) so once calm again I try to find a different activity or toy for them to play with.

With other people's children if it's not a toy actually belonging to my child I tell them to ignore the other child, and do something else instead. I don't feel comfortable disciplining a child not my own. If it's at playgroup they are told to tell an auntie.

attheendoftheday Wed 20-Jan-16 23:39:51

I intervene to support my child, saying something like "Dd2 was playing with that, you can have a turn in a minute" while retrieving the toy. If it's a small child I might offer a different toy.

I obviously also intervene if it's my kids doing the snatching and return toys to their rightful owner.

I also do insist that a toy is passed over after a few minutes if another child is waiting for a go.

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