What do you do when your child won't share?

Sherry - posted on 06/29/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )




She is an only child but when other kids come over she won't share.


[deleted account]

We have the same issue ,and have had to "share" toys with my son. We play with one, and give him one. When he tries to take our toy, we say, "Not yet, we are still playing with this." Sometimes it works. Generally, it's caused him to barter a lot, so he will trade his toy for another like item. It's not really sharing, but it's pretty good for a year and a half.


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Brook - posted on 08/14/2011




I have a now 4 (almost 5 year old) and a 18 mth old. We were always concerned when my oldest was a toddler about sharing and acting out. DON"T WORRY ABOUT IT! Looking back I spent a lot of time worrying about things instead of enjoying him all the time! Just keep modeling and encouraging sharing but don't sweat it! Now, with my second, I am making sure to encourage but most of all ENJOY!

Michelle - posted on 07/09/2011




At this age, it's really hard. I would redirect my child to another toy, if possible. I know when my son got a little older (maybe 2 and a half), I would simply take the wanted toy away, and I would clearly say, "if you can't share than no one gets to play with the toy." That way you're not taking anyone's side and they learn there is a clear consequence for not sharing. He would either learn to share or not get to play at all. Worked every time.

Susan - posted on 07/06/2011




That's tough, and every child is different re: their willingness to share and their emotional ability to do so. My middle child will without prompting give you her last piece of candy, whereas you'd have to pry it out of the hands of my oldest. Getting your daughter accustomed to consistently "take turns" is one way of introducing the concept--as well as putting the item in "time out" if she is uncooperative. [That usually works *really* well in terms of getting the two children to agree to share]. It also helps to reassure your child that the friend is not keeping said object--only using it for a short time. That they *will* get it back. There may be some special items she can't bear to share, and I think that's perfectly okay provided she puts them up and out of play range before the friend comes over. Some kids just need more time with the concept--she'll get it eventually.

Jane - posted on 06/29/2011




First of all, make sure everyone has a toy to play with. Then if anyone tries to take someone else's toys, stop them and say "No, it's her turn right now. You play with your toy." And just keep at it with all of the toddlers. Eventually it will sink in.

You also might consider putting out some "special" toys just for play group time. These are YOUR toys, at least as far as the kids are concerned, and you are sharing the toys with them. And again, enforce the turns so no one gets frustrated.

[deleted account]

It's a process. First of all, to a toddler, "sharing" is overwhelming b/c they don't understand that the toy will be returned at some point. Try using the words, "let's take turns." Then stay with her while the other child plays with her toy and make sure she gets a chance to play with it again within a short amount of time (a minute or so).

Also, keep explaining that no one likes playing with someone who won't share - if she keeps refusing to share, her friends will leave and play with someone else, and she'll miss all the fun.

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