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To a toddler there is no yours, mine and ours. There is only mine. Possessiveness, at this age in no way predicts a lifetime of selfishness. Grabbing from others and holding on to one's own possessions is just another normal manifestation of a toddler's need to establish their identity, to test boundaries and stand up for his or her rights. Toddler possessiveness is not only normal, it is a necessary and essential step on the road to sharing.

"Owning" comes long before "Sharing" on the toddler development scale.

It is said that kids learn good habits by modeling what they see. Our children are always watching our actions and learning from them. Make a point to share a bite of your meal or a chance to help build the block tower you're making. Always use the word "sharing". Appreciate his / her effort when he shares.

But as natural as it is for your toddler to object to sharing, it is also natural for you to want your toddler to learn how to share.

Here's how to begin :

Build your child's self esteem : Make your child feel like a valued member of the family, one whose thoughts, feelings and desires are given equal consideration and are never belittled.


Don't force your toddler to share : Pushing your child implies that you consider his / her needs less significant than those of others. Believing that their possessions are up for grabs can make them feel insecure and unsettled.


Introduce the concept of other people's ownership : Toddlers need to learn that some things belong to the group. They also need to know that they have to take turns for an empty swing.


Put your toddler's resistance to sharing in perspective : Unwilling to part with their favourite toy may seem unreasonable, but is actually valid. As an adult we do not like to part with our favourite things.


Acknowledge to your toddler that it is hard to share : Instead of scolding the toddler empathize, saying, "I know it is a hard to share your bus. Its very special to you", such understanding will help your toddler overcome reluctance to share sooner.


Do not share for your toddler : Your toddler's toys belong to him. Show you recognize that and always ask his permission before offering them to his friends.


Share with your toddler : Toddlers imitate their parents very fast. Make a point to share your meal, book, etc. with him.


Compliment all efforts of sharing : Whenever your toddler agrees to share, praise him for the act of kindness. Reward him at times.



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