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Forum: Attachment Parenting


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February 21st, 2013, 10:01 AM
joonzgurl's Avatar Proud mama of 2 girls
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Small Town, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 5,639
So a week ago I took Avery to a kids Valentines Day party that my friend put on.

This situation happened there, and it made me realize that I have no idea how I would handle it if it were my child.

So "Tommy" just turned 2 in January. He came across this remote control tractor toy that he really loved. He played with it a lot, but then set it down and was playing with someone else.

"Sam" is 3 and decided to start playing with the tractor at that point.

Tommy literally freaked out. Screaming and crying and trying to get the toy back. His mother took him aside and calmed him down and read a story to him quietly, explaining that Sam was playing with the toy right now.

As soon as Tommy was calm enough to re-join the children, he goes to Sam and rips the toy from his hands. Sam is a little older so he doesn't throw a tantrum but he is not very happy.

I'm not sure I agreed with what happened next. Tommy's mother did not make him give it back, told him that he can only play with it for a few minutes and then he had to give it back. I am sure another melt down would have occurred if the toy was given back to Sam at any point but we never found out because Tommy kept the toy the entire rest of the party.

Ok so that was long. What would you do if that were your child?
What if your child were the one who had the toy ripped from their hands?

Proud mama to:

Avery Elizabeth (08/27/2011) & Dawsyn Brielle (10/29/2013)
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February 21st, 2013, 10:41 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6,057
Ah yes, sharing. A perennial issue with toddlers. Lol.

M often finds things on the playground that do not belong to her, like temporarily abandoned sand toys. If the mom/caregiver is around, I will ask if she can play with it, if it is a small thing like a plastic shovel, usually it is fine. But she has to give it back when the kid returns. And things like shoes and bags and snacks and bikes... not allowed. I say "that is not yours, we can't play with that, it doesn't belong to us". I am very strict with respecting other people's possessions. I know she doesn't totally understand but I think she is slowly starting to get the idea. Like at music class, she wants to play with everyone's shoes sometimes, and I don't allow that but I do let her play with our shoes. I think that she is starting to see the pattern with what is okay and what is not okay. I sort of wish another kid would try to take her shoes so we could show how that scenario is not okay either. But she is the main shoe crazed one in class, lol.

If I were the 2yo's mom at the party, I would absolutely not allow the grabbing of the toy. I would forcibly get it back to the 3yo and if possible, try to show how we ASK for a turn. Most 3yo's I know would probably hand it over at that point. But if it then turned into a meltdown, I would just practice staylistening and deal with the meltdown, if possible even in the same place (it is okay if other kids are watching, I say stuff like "see, everyone wants to make sure you're okay, they want you to feel better" - sometimes a kid will even try to console or offer another toy which is so sweet and often effective), but if it was too loud and out of control, I would find a quiet place for it and just listen and say stuff like "I know you are mad and sad, you wanted the toy. But we have to wait our turn and ASK to share. We cannot grab. I'm sorry, I know it's hard."

This kind of thing comes up a lot in social situations with little ones. It is totally normal.

A somewhat funny story. M has a friend named Ella who is also a big blond girl. Not as tall but also stout and a big eater and a tough active girl. So I was hosting a playdate and Ella had some toy of M's, maybe a ball. M decided she wanted it and ran over and tried to grab it. Ella just body blocked her and held on tight and M could not get it away, they struggled briefly and each sort of yelled at the other in a primate dominance sort of way. Then the moms rushed over and they got surprised and dropped it, so I just picked it up and said "ball is going to sit up here now" and put it away. They both sort of shrugged and went on playing. It was so funny to see M meet her match in some way there were zero tears or hard feelings whatsoever.

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February 21st, 2013, 12:32 PM
ohnicole's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,756
Sharing is always a tricky one with toddlers, and I think some tantrums are to be expected We haven't really gotten to that stage yet with Eleanor, but I agree that I plan on being pretty strict with her about respecting other's property. If it leads to a tantrum then I will calmly help her work through it, but I don't want to inadvertently reinforce the idea that she can just grab things from other kids.
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February 21st, 2013, 01:07 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,084
I absolutely don't think toddlers should be expected to share with one another. It's just not part of their developmental capabilities, AND as an adult if I'm using something, I expect to be given the 'right' to use it until I am done. I don't appreciate being told 'only 5 more minutes' if I know it's gonna be at least 20 until I'm finished with it.

The situation you describe to me isn't as much about sharing. Tommy was given the opportunity to play with the toy until he was 'finished' with it, signaled by his abandonment of the toy. When Sam picked it up and Tommy melted down, what should have happened IMO, is Tommy's mom explain, 'I see you are upset that Sam is playing with the _______, you would like to play with it again wouldn't you? When Sam is finished playing with it, it can be your turn again.' At that point take him away, calm him down and distract with other books/toys. Even at 2 I believe that an explanation can go a long way, in his understanding of what will happen next.

If Tommy rips the toy out of Sam's hands, I think either of the mothers should have got down on T's eye level, and explained again that 'it is not kind to take a toy out of someone's hands, Sam is currently playing with the _______ and when Sam is finished, it will be your turn again' I would then encourage Tommy to give back the toy and again distract with a new toy or book. If T's mom isn't going to intervene in this situation, I see no problem with S's mom saying something, it was her child that loses out.

I have dealt with all kinds of situations like this with the kids I've nannied. I guess there is a certain level of feeling out the crowd, and being respectful, but as a parent it is important to me that MY children are being respected by others as well, and I would step in if I felt this wasn't happening.

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February 22nd, 2013, 12:27 AM
KiwiMommy's Avatar Ashlynn's Mama
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 3,863
Ash is an awful share-er. What we do is if she and her friend are fighting over a toy, we have them work it out..peacefully. If they can't, the toy is put away because they can't be nice about it, and we are nice to friends. If Ash took a toy from another child, I would immediately take it from her and explain that taking toys is not how we make friends and it makes people sad.
However, I make exceptions to the rule, like toys that are special to Ash (her leap pad, her balloon, certain stuffed animals) and I will put them up and tell her I will keep them safe. I believe in having things you do not have to share..special things. Most toys should be shared, but not ALL.
If the toy isn't hers, there will be turn taking..end of story. If she throws a fit over it, I explain that I understand she is sad and angry but the toy does not belong to her and she will wait.
I'm strict about that I guess.. I don't like when she gets "mean" about sharing, so we enforce the rules pretty strictly to keep the peace.
Usually the kids are good about it though. Usually...

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February 22nd, 2013, 06:20 AM
TheOnlyPink's Avatar .... In a house of blue!
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 9,071
oh god, sharing. I hate that part of toddler development!

What i would have done if i was tommys mother is to give the toy back to sam and ask tommy if we could ask sam nicely if he would like to swap the tractor for another toy and explain firmly that if sam says no, then we have to wait until sam is finished.

I always had great success with "swapping". And it works surprisingly often. But the main point of the swap effort is to distract from the fact that the child isnt getting the toy they want and imo it gives them a few minutes to control themselves without just lashing out.

We do swapping at home too. Baby toys are still appealing to jake (as much as he refuses to admit it) and if harry is playing with it jake will offer a swap. that distracts harry and no fight results.

Sharing is so hard to deal with!

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February 22nd, 2013, 01:00 PM
IronMamma's Avatar -Child Advocate
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 4,286
I have not come into an issue with sharing yet. Watch, I will now. Drake has played with his cousin who is 5 months older then him and he will hand him his toys and play, and his cousin will pull them away.

Thank you *Kiliki* for my perfect siggy

When you know better, you do better. And when you do better, you know HINTA.

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