Montreal, Quebec, CAN
Number of kids: 3
Ages of kids: 2, 4, 7
Problem: My two year old soon to be three, refuses to share his toys with his brother and sister and with other children in general. I've tried to explain to him that sharing is a positive thing and that the more he shares with other people the more toys they will share with him...this however did not stimulate the desire reaction. I tried to reward him with cookies and even 'time out' when refusing to share. My other children have no problems with sharing and do so willingly. What to do?
Editor's Comment: I couldn't resist commenting on this common problem with something a very wise Montessori teacher once told me. She asked if most adults would just let someone "share" their new car, or jewelry etc. And of course, the answer is no, most grown adults don't just share their belongings. Then why do we expect our children to share their precious things? Of course, it is nice if they want to, and it teaches them giving and cooperation, etc., but is it something they should HAVE to do? What I found has always worked wonders with my children, and it's also something they do at Montessori schools, is taking turns. Most children won't mind giving up a special toy or game AFTER they have finished with it. When there's a fight over a toy, you 'd be surprised how well saying, "Johnny, when you're done with that toy, would you let Suzie play with it? You may play with it as long as you like, but when you are finished and want to play with something else, could you please give it to Suzie for awhile?" I have never seen this approach fail. At worst, the first child decides he will NEVER be done with it, but then he doesn't get to play with anything else. Usually he or she will finish what they are doing, and be happy to turn it over. An interesting thing that happens with this approach also, is the child very often will give up the toy in a matter of 1 minute or less, because it has now become HIS CHOICE! Try it, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Solution: None submitted yet.