Kids fighting over toys is a challenge all parents have to deal with. ”When I buy a toy for one of my kids, sometimes I have to buy the exact same toy for the other just to keep the peace,” says Marla Reyna, administrative assistant and mom to Marco, 7, and Mikey, 5.
Toy fights, especially among toddlers, is quite normal as they are only beginning to learn about their own identities. ”Most toddlers think that everything in their surroundings belongs to them,” explains share toys, administrator of Mindbuilders Preschool in Las Piñas and mom to Liane, 5, and Gavryl, 3. ”When a child finds a toy interesting, another will be curious and will also want to discover what’s interesting about it. And since children that age do not understand yet that they can’t have everything, they tend to grab the toy from someone.”
Toddlers fight over toys because they are just starting to understand the concept of possession and thus want to establish ownership over a particular toy. Sometimes, they also feel jealous when the focus is on someone else (i.e. sibling rivalry), so they pick a fight to get an adult’s attention. Although sharing is a learned skill, you can start building the foundation for learning this important value at home.
Sharing at home One way to promote sharing at home is to have your children take turns playing with a certain toy. Make it fun by setting a timer and telling them that once the buzzer goes off, it is time to trade toys with one another. Don’t forget to praise them when they cooperate!
“Teaching your child the concept of taking turns will make it easier for him to learn to share in the future. It will also make him realize that .sharing his toy doesn’t mean giving it up forever,” says Marie Teves, mom to Riley, 5. Practice taking turns as often as you can - while eating a bag of cookies, turning the pages of a children’s book, or even shooting baskets. Vasquez-Estuesta adds, ”When a parent teaches her child to share toys with her siblings, she is also teaching her about equal rights. Therefore, a parent must be fair - avoid playing favorites or taking sides.”