Problems with Sharing/Snatching

Ez - posted on 09/29/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )




My 19 month old has always been excellent with sharing, which was a bit of a shock because she is such a little diva and can be very demanding in other ways. My best friend has 2 boys (4 and 19mths) and they are both snatchers!! We spend quite a bit of time together and it's getting to be an issue.

Milla has no idea why every time she picks up a toy or book it gets taken away, so she has started either screaming or hitting them. I'm then in a situation where I need to step in and correct her behaviour, but the boys (it's mainly the young one) never get told not to snatch. Then, my friend says to me.. 'oh she really doesn't understand sharing does she?' :-o I had to take a deep breath lol. I just said she can share fine, she's just not used to things being snatched from her all the time.

So I need to know what I can do to help her deal with the snatching, because the tantrums and hitting is obviously not acceptable. Her verbal and communication skills are excellent, so I try and explain the situation, but when she's mad she doesn't really listen. And I'm getting a little pissed that she's winding up looking like the naughty one when she is only reacting to someone else's poor behaviour.


Amie - posted on 09/29/2010




Alright I'm the bitchy mom. If the other mom wouldn't step in, I would. I have.

Mom's sometimes get blinders on to their children's behavior. They don't see it as 'wrong'. Snatching is wrong, it's not sharing. If he wants to share, that's fine. To share though he needs to ask first. A simple " No ___ if you want to share you need to ask first. Grabbing is not nice." Should be enough of a wake up call for the mom and hopefully she'll get the point without directly confronting her about the poor behavior.

I wouldn't worry about her being mad, she has every right to be mad. Dana's suggestion of the use your words is what I have done though.

[deleted account]

Roxanne is the same.....she's usually pretty mellow and likes to share but of course, being an only child, she's not used to people just grabbing things from her. First she went through a phase where she would be startled by another child grabbing something from her......her bottom lip would come out and start to quiver and then, if I didn't step in right away she would start to cry. Eventually, she started either hitting or trying to grab the toy back, screaming, "MINE!"

Anyhow, I used to step in and say, "use you words"...."ask Sophie nicely if you can have it back"....that sorta thing. How when she starts to get frustrtated all I have to do is remind her to "use her words" and you can watch her calm down, breathe deep and then she'll quietly but firmly ask for it back....

Is it even a possibility to speak to your friend about the issue? Possibly try and explain that if you're going to teach Milla not to hit etc. that SHE (your friend) needs to teach her son that grabbing isn't ok either?

Riana - posted on 09/29/2010




Any chance you can teach her to say "Please don't snatch it's very rude, just ask nicely" next time they do it LOL how I would love to see the other moms face then. It's a hard one as the other kids behaviour is out of your control :-( Think the question is not how to teach her to share but rather teaching her how to deal with it positively when someone else treats her unfair.

Will have to think about it some more and get back to you...

Amy - posted on 10/02/2010




That is a hard situation, when your friend doesn't seem to understand that her son is creating the problem. But also keep in mind, espeically with her little one 18 months, they don't understand sharing at all. I'm surprised that you say your 19 month old does. Sharing is really not something a young child is able to understand or do. When they are little, they only see themselves, their own needs and what they want. Everything around them belongs to them. There is a cute saying that goes something like this: If I had it, it's mine, if I want it, it's mine, if I see if, it's mine. Or something like that. Anyway, your little girl is obviously upset that things are being taken away form her, and rightly so. I'm not sure how comfortable you would be with saying something to your friends little boys when they go to take something from your daughter. Gently you could redirect him to something else. Children this age can be redirected to other items, usually very easily. Say something like "She has that book right now, look at this one!" Have a really excited voice and actually put another item in front of the boy. The 4 year old is just starting to understand the meaning of sharing and other people's feelings. You can use the same thing with him, explaining that "That makes her sad or angry when you take her toy out of her hand. Would you like to play with it when she is done?" You could also explain gently to your friend about the toddler's inability to really share and grasp that concept. It really isn't that the boy is being bad, he is just being a little boy. But I understand that it seems like your friend doesn't quite get it either. It is OK for you to show your daughter appropriate ways to deal with someone when they are causing her frustration and anger. Good luck!


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Nisya - posted on 11/07/2010




dont underestimate children.. my daughter also understands the concept of sharing n treating ppl well at early age.. and yes we r facing the same dilemma as well.. other kids snatch toys and even food from my daughter..

things that i'll do:

tell the other kid that my daughter has it first..

suggest other toys the kid

if that makes the kid cry.. let the parents take over :D

Jess - posted on 10/01/2010




My suggestion would be a mix of all the advise already given.

When the kids are all playing together be in there with them playing. And when the snatching begins step in. Hopefully your friend will join in playing and catch on to what your trying to achieve.

I know its hard, Ava is 13 months and her BFF is 15 months and sharing is concept neither of them understand at all. It always ends in tears for poor Ava. I would be fine with my friend telling Ava that her action's weren't nice and I would hope that my friend feels the same way when it comes to her son. Test the waters see how you go.

[deleted account]

By all means, I would have no problem addressing someone else's children....that's definitley an option but most people think I'm crazy so I didn't suggest it!

If nothing else, HOPEFULLY when you address her sons directly, she'll get the hint!! Good luck

Ez - posted on 09/29/2010




I think you're right about addressing the snatching directly rather than trying to raise the subject with my friend. This is the first time we've clashed over the kids (and I don't doubt there will be more) so I want to avoid a confronation if at all humanly possible.

Ez - posted on 09/29/2010




Riana, Milla's verbal skills are good, but not THAT good lol. But I do think I need to work on teaching her something to say that will take the place of the screaming and hitting. She would be able to say 'don't snatch please' and that would be far preferable to her screaming 'no waaaaaaaaait!!' and then snotting him in the head.

Dana, I've told my friend why Milla is lashing out with her boys and she sees that I am trying to avoid or correct that behaviour. But so far, she doesn't really step in when the snatching and grabbing happens.

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