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Being selfish is a phase that every toddler goes through when he’s told to share something. A toddler not sharing his things is, therefore, nothing more than just a developmental trait. There are measures parents can smartly take to rid their little ones of this possessive streak.
Toddlers can get overly possessive about their things. From objects to toys, grandparents to even siblings, there’s no telling what can grab their fancy. Their unwillingness to share their possessions stem from a strong sense of ownership for an object that the child has full control over. Here’s how you can unlock this troubling behaviour code.
1. Never force your toddler to share
The more you pressurise your toddler to share the more he’ll refrain from sharing. The question of why toddler won’t share springs from the need to hold onto what might seem like the world to them at the present moment. Leave them to themselves and they’ll automatically give up what they just fought over a while back. It’s a practice that will leave a child feeling less compelled and more willing to share.
2. Never take sides
If your two-year-old is playing with his brother, sister, or a friend, who grabs a toy from your child’s hand don’t snatch the toy back and give it to him. Your snatching it away from the other child will only serve to teach him that grabbing is okay and so is being possessive. As much as possible leave the kids to sort out this tussle without taking anyone’s side. If the situation goes out of hand, encourage your child to play with the toy in turns instead.
3. Respect your child’s possessiveness
You should learn how to deal with possessiveness in toddlers by respecting it. To them, even a broken toy truck might be a prized possession. Not everything has to be shared with others. If the object is something that your toddler has an attachment to, it’s quite alright to let it be solely his to play with. Likewise, if you have a playgroup over, there’s no need to take out all your toddler’s toys for play, particularly his favourites.
4. Create an environment of sharing
Creating an environment at home that encourages sharing is one of the best ways to teach your toddler to share things. If you have more than one child, try and create equal opportunities for all. If you bake cookies, ensure each one gets an equal share. If you have a slab of chocolate, dish it out equally and don’t leave daddy out of it!
5. Play sharing games
One of the best ways to encourage sharing in your toddler is to incorporate activities for toddlers that involve sharing. When playing such activities always keep in mind to seek your toddler’s permission before using something that belongs to him. When done, hand the toy over with a ‘thank you’.
Possessiveness in 18-month-old Toddlers is a common behavioural tendency that lasts its length of time. Given time and space, they soon grow out of this feeling. On your part, set an example of generosity for your toddler to follow.