Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

correcting DC when he takes toys from other kids

How and how much do you go about correcting this behavior?  We had friends over last night and obviously the toddlers kept taking toys from one another.  DS is going through a bit of a "mine" phase and when he would yell "mine" and steal the toy, I would correct him, talk about sharing, and make him give it back to the kid.  But, I felt like I was constantly on top of him the whole night and the parents kept insisting it wasn't a big deal.  I just don't want DS to become a bully.  The other kid is several months younger and much smaller than DS. 

What do you all do?

DS - June 2009
DD - February 2011

Re: correcting DC when he takes toys from other kids

  • I do what you did. 

    It's hard when other parents don't correct their kids, though.

  • well DS doesn't get much time to interact with other kiddos but I would do the exact same thing and I'd do it over and over again until he got it even if that meant several hours/days whatever. I just look at it this way, it's easier now to enforce the right behavior than to try and un-do bad behavior and re-teach later. It may get awkward for the other parents but oh well.
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  • there's a whole school of thought saying that's exactly what you shouldn't do bc it hurts kids autonomy, and basically teaches them to behave, but doesn't teach them *why*.  i'm not articulating well, but if you're interested read about unconditional parenting.
  • With twins I spend the entire day doing this...

    I choose when to take it away based upon the method it was done (like literally tearing it out of the other one's hands vs one kid is just  playing w/ something on a table & floor in front of them & the other one comes over & starts playing iwth it and it doesn't seem to bother kid #1 too much or they have something else they can play with or be distracted by). Sharing is not a 'skill' that kids really get until an older age but I'm all for introducing it early, just not every single time it happens....

    While I think autonomy is important at this age b/c they are learning that they are a separate person from others nad possessions play a role in that, I'm not really following why pp says that talking to your kid about not taking something from the other child would be problematic for developing autonomy since then the visiting child on a play date shouldn't get to play with anything & it would be ok in terms of fostering autonomy for the one whose house it is to always be able to say 'mine' and take it away, if that makes sense. 

    I think it is important for autonomy to allow the one who is playing with it (even if it is not their house, they're your guest) to keep playing with it for a little  and then say something like- yes, this is your toy but Johnny is visiting us and can play with some of your toys, so let's take turns- Johnny can play with it for a little bit now, and then you can have it back. Or on the flip side, you can play with it for another minute but then let's trade/share with Johnny and he can try it out while you play with the XXX.  

    In my case, there are occasionally things that are truly "mine" (the individual child's) so we try to really respect that when it is taken by the other child. 

    SO I guess that was a long answer to yes, I personally think that you do need to intervene adn tell your LO to share but maybe not every single time & depending on the circumstances. I always tell other parents it is not a big deal also b/c my kids are used to that kind of thing at home anyway, but I would be annoyed if the other parent NEVER said anything and the other kid just kept taking the toys. Why would I want to go on a play date where I'd have to feel like I need to bring my own toys b/c the host child might keep taking his/her toys away from my kids?  

  • DD gets TONS of time with other kiddos.  I'm a SAHM and an assistant organizer for a really large play group and we go swimming (there are communal toys at the warm water pool for the kids) 3-4 times a week.  I try to hold back and only correct if the toy has been 'snatched' from the other child or if I think a 'snatch' or hit is about to happen.  I try to let the kids work things out as much as I can.  I am right there supervising while the practice is going on ready to intervene if NEEDED.

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  • If there isn't a similar toy available for a switch out (i.e. another ball, car, etc) then I do what you do.  Or I'll say let's count to 10 and then we will switch turns.  I read somewhere (can't remember where) that developmentally they aren't at the stage yet where they can be expected to share consistently as they first need to realize that not everything belongs to them.  This will happen somewhere around 3.
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