In this article
Possessive Behaviour in ChildrenSigns of PossessivenessReasons of PossessivenessHow and When do toddlers learn to share?Teaching Toddlers to Share
Toddler possessiveness is a normal stage in the developmental chart. Experts say “It’s an important quality for kids to establish independence and individuality,” The concept of sharing can be learned early on. But learning to share is a learned activity, mastering it takes some time and can be quite frustrating for parents or caregivers.
Possessive Behaviour in Children
Signs of Possessiveness:
There are many signs of possessive behaviour in children. Some of these could be:
- Toddler is unwilling to share a parent, both parents, or a favourite friend
- Toddler won’t share his toys
- Possessiveness over a space or a favourite part of a room or setting
- Possessive behaviour over a new sibling
- Bossing around or cutting out other kids from playtime or other activities
Reasons of Possessiveness:
A child can be possessive during the toddler years for a variety of reasons. It can be anything from a new baby to good old sibling rivalry. Sometimes an ugly divorce makes kids possessive about a particular parent too. Whatever the reason, the emotions a child feels is that of being ignored, unloved and even threatened. Hence, the child becomes all the more possessive and attached to this behaviour.
How and When do toddlers learn to share?
For kids, sharing is a complex matter. It can mean lending or giving, and also requires an understanding of time. A reluctance to share doesn't necessarily boil down to selfishness or being mean– it’s just that your child has yet to understand how sharing works.
Teaching Toddlers to Share:
Here’s what you can do to help your child overcome the feeling of possessiveness.
- Get your child to put aside, at least, one special toy he doesn't have to share.
- Setting aside special time for the child with his favorite loved one so as to decrease the need to feel "possessive" over this person.
- Start off with things they have lots of such as books, building blocks, crayon etc. Sharing things that are in multiple is comparatively easier.
- Encourage him when he makes an effort to let go of his possessiveness and share.
- Lead by example. Have friends over to spend time with you all so he learns through observation that “the more the merrier”.
- Be patient with the kid. Once the child starts to feel secure with the idea of sharing, the possessiveness would slowly melt away.
Knowing how to deal with toddler possessiveness can be a difficult and stressful phase in a parent’s life. That’s because sharing is something that doesn’t come naturally to children. It’s an alien concept, which has to be learned over time. With patience, proper guidance and making your kid’s feel secure, a parent can quite easily handle this particular behaviour issue. With time, kids also often learn that sharing is a reciprocal process and that they need to share with others if they expect the same in return.
How did you teach your kids to share and mellow their possessiveness? Share with us!