22-Month-Old Toddler Development: Sharing
Whether your toddler can say the word yet or not, these days your kid is all "Mine!" all the time. She wants what she wants and she wants it now. Your toddler doesn't care who it belongs to, who's using it or really what it is—but if someone else is playing with it, it must be good and it must be hers! What you're thinking: "Um, actually kid, that cell phone isn't yours. It's mine!"
- At this age your kid can't grasp the concept of "sharing," so don't expect her to. You can introduce her to the idea, but she may not get it for another few years (or decades!). To your kid, a toy is an extension of herself. So asking her to fork it over is kinda like asking her to lop off her arm.
- While she may not be able to grasp the idea of sharing, your kid can begin to learn how to take turns at this age. Set a kitchen timer and tell your kid that when it dings in two minutes, she has to give her toy to her buddy. Assure her that when his turn is over, she'll get it back so she doesn't throw a massive tantrum.
- Double their pleasure. If your kid has a toy that always seems to be the center of controversy, buy two if you can. That way each kid can have a shovel (or ball, or doll ...) and you'll avoid the terrible toy tug-o-war.
- Give your kid plenty of practice with sharing. Schedule playdates, take her to playgroup, enroll her in a class, have another kid (Just kidding! Sort of ...). The more used to sharing and taking turns she gets, the better she'll be at it. Practice makes perfect.
- Don't force your kid to share her favorite things. Before a friend comes over, hide your kid's coveted items or risk setting off Armageddon. It's understandable, really. Would you want to share your fave new shoes with an acquaintance? Especially one that drooled and had a runny nose? We think not.
- If you invite a friend's kid over and your kid screams "Mine" every time his buddy touches his toys, don't be embarrassed. All kids do it and someday your kid will learn to share.
- "I forced my toddler to share and now I'm worried that I might have just made him stingier with his things!"
Read more of "When Sharing Means Scarring" by Kate Tipton
Everything you ever wanted to know ... and were just about to ask:
Make some mega dominoes and take turns knocking them down. Cook It: Baked Apples
So delish your kid won't want to share. Surprise, surprise. Buy It: Personalized Bottle Bracelets
Make sure the one thing you don't want your kid sharing—i.e., her sippy cup—stays out of the wrong hands.
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All kids grow and develop at different rates. So please don't compare your toddler with so-and-so's from across the street—you'll just drive yourself nuts. If you have any concerns, bring them up with your doctor at your kid's next checkup.