Sharing is Caring
Sharing is hard. No one likes to share their favorite toy, or spot on the couch, or snack. When you have a toddler and a preschooler in the same house, you are bound to have sharing battles. One kid sees the other kid playing with something. All of a sudden the first kid HAS to have that toy THIS VERY SECOND!
The hardest part about the boys sharing right now is that Jack gets sharing. He knows that he’s supposed to share and he does a decent job. It doesn’t stop him from wanting the random Happy Meal toy that Xander is playing with, but he knows to ask for a turn. Xander, on the other hand, does not get sharing. He wants the red car right now and don’t you dare try to convince him to let his brother play with it for two minutes because it is his darn it.
Jack has learned to politely ask for a turn. He walks up to Xander and asks “Can I take a turn?” Xander puts on his “I know what you just said but since I’m still little, I’m gonna pretend like I don’t understand those words” face and walks away. This is immediately followed by Jack throwing a fit because he asked nicely.
Because we have SO MANY TOYS, I am not usually inclined to ask the child actively playing with something to give it up so that his brother can take a turn. I usually encourage the boys to find something else to play with and wait until their brother is done playing with whatever the coveted toy is. This generally works and the biggest rule in this game is that once you put a toy down and walk away from it, it’s fair game.
The other night we were outside playing. Jack pulled out the toy lawn mower and was playing with it. The lawn mower is a highly coveted outside toy. Both boys love playing with it and we’ve had more than one fight over who gets to play with it. I saw Xander eying it up, but he was patient. He waited until Jack decided to play with something else then swooped in and grabbed the lawn mower. He played with it forever. In circles, back and forth, smile on his face the whole time. Jack happily played with a dozen other things while Xander played with the lawn mower, never once even looking at Xander or asking for the lawn mower.
After 20 minutes or so, Xander became distracted and walked away from the lawn mower. Jack saw that the lawn mower was free and grabbed it and started playing with it. He began running around the backyard. As soon as Xander realized that Jack had the lawn mower, he ran after him, zombie fashion, with his arms out in front of him, and he began to cry. I let them run around for a bit (at one point the were on the ground and X tried to wrestle the toy away from Jack!). Finally, it became apparent that Jack was only playing with the lawn mower because Xander wanted it. I nicely asked Jack if he would share and let Xander take a turn. He said “As soon as I’m done.” Two seconds later he handed the toy to his brother and then quickly moved on to a different toy. Can you say proud mama?
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