My child gets so possessive of his toys when we’re around other kids. How much should I be encouraging him to share?

Whether they’re around siblings, daycare buddies or just the occasional trip to the park, suddenly your little one is wising up to the fact that it’s time to start staking out his territory. Even the abandoned dump truck he rarely plays with starts to look a lot more appealing as soon as another child picks it up. After all, the grass is always greener in somebody else’s playpen!

Move off your home turf: If you often have kids over for playdates, try and balance it out a bit by getting out to friends’ houses. Your child will feel less resentful of having to give up his favourite toys if he gets a chance to play with somebody else’s for a change.

Look on the bright side: It can be tough for a toddler to see any of the merits of giving up their toys. Say something like: “Look how happy you’ve made your friend by sharing? See how happy he is?” Focus the attention away from their disappointment and encourage your child to feel proud of his part in the positive outcome.

Nanny Carrie's Tip: Let them have their favourite toys/security objects that are off limits to friends and siblings. But if they start claiming that every toy in the playroom is their most prized possession then make a rule: 'Either keep it up in your room, or hold onto it, but if it's lying around on the floor, it's fair game.'

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Author: Nanny Carrie

Nanny Carrie always knew she wanted a big family, so she made it her business to borrow everybody else's children until she had her own. You can find her embracing the organized chaos of life with five kids and loving (almost) every minute!

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