How to Teach Toddlers to Share

Teaching Toddlers to Share | Baby Chick

How to Teach Toddlers to Share

My toddler’s favorite word is “mine.” Usually hollered at a decibel reserved for heavy metal music. “Nooo” is a close second. As embarrassing as this can be — especially on Play Dates and in the church nursery on Sunday mornings — this is a common toddler behavior. We humans (especially mini-humans) are inherently selfish creatures. Sharing is unnatural. Sharing is a learned skill, developed over time. But an important skill nonetheless. No one wants their kid to be the little shi* on the playground. So how do we, as parents, teach them this valuable life lesson?

Be an Example

Kids learn to share — and other desirable traits — by imitating what they see us (the grownups) doing. So basically it is imperative that we model good behavior, and model it often. Eating an Oreo? Spy your toddler watching you enviously from her high chair? Share the Oreo. Ask her, “Would you like some of mommy’s cookies? I will happily share my cookies with you, because I love you, and I know that my cookies will make you happy.” And then next time, be smarter. Hide in the pantry with your Oreos. Only half kidding.  Then, when your toddler attempts to share in return, praise her. Big time. Make a big freaking deal out of it! Kids respond well to this. Repeat often. Because when you are trying to teach your toddler a new skill, consistency is key.

Pretend

Toddlers are notorious for “pretend sharing,” or “psych sharing.” Do you know what I mean? Like “Here, look at my pretty, shiny toy. Want to touch it? Psych!” Even though this isn’t exactly the desired outcome, it IS a step in the right direction. When little Tommy does this — praise him, and then encourage him to take the next step. Tell Tommy it would be really nice to let Jackson see the toy for a bit. Assure Tommy that Jackson will return the toy when he is done playing with it. Don’t worry, eventually Tommy will learn to share on his own. The games and the mind tricks won’t last forever. And in the mean time, there’s always wine.

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Practice

It’s inevitable. When two or more children are gathered together to play, fights and (loud) arguments are sure to ensue. Why not hide the beloved toys — the ones most likely to cause the most drama — high on a closet shelf before company even comes a calling? And then insist that your toddler will share whatever toys are left. When tempers start to flare, don’t be afraid to correct — but not punish — your child for his or her behavior. Then divert attention with an entirely different activity. Like playing outside. Or break out the Oreos. Either way. Whatever it takes to keep the peace, mama.

Don’t Punish

Back to the no punishment thing. Psychologists tend to agree that punishing a toddler for failing to share is a bit unfair — after all, sharing IS a foreign concept. And most toddlers will begin to better grasp this concept after the age of two. But don’t be afraid to let your child know that the world does not revolve around her. All of humanity will thank you later. Time out is a perfectly acceptable form of correction in the interim. Especially if she throws an ugly hissy fit. Make sure she knows this is unacceptable.

It’s fairly simple. If you were a toddler, would you want to be friends with your toddler? If the answer is no, you know you have some work to do. Kids learn. Eventually. We just have to love them through it. And try to remember that we were once little turds ourselves. And see? We grew out of it just fine. Besides, I get the feeling this whole sharing thing is just the tip of the parenting iceberg. May the universe be with you!

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About the Author /

Wife, mommy to three precious little girls, currently pregnant with baby a boy, and owner of The Plaid Pony.

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I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
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