Toddlers do not learn to share by having grown-ups make them do it. Having to give up a toy makes a toddler feel angry, not loving. At the toddler center children play with toys until they’re ready to give them up on their own. Caregivers may point out other toys, but they don’t make them share or take turns. -1..2..3 The Toddler Years.
At Elm House we also do not force children to share a toy they’re using or work that they’re independently engaging in. We may give a suggestion.
“I can see that you have two balls, and __ has none..”
“It looks like __ really wants to sit on that pillow with you. Maybe you guys could share..”
In my experience 9 times out of 10 a child will want to share anyway, but for those times that we encounter strong resistance, we might say: Can you let __ know WHEN they can have a turn? The usual response is “in 2 minutes.” The child is still able to make a choice about when their turn is over.
Most of the pictures below are unprompted sharing 🙂
SM: MS told me I could have a turn with her glasses and when my mom comes I will give them back to her!
Megan: How does that make you feel SM?
I to MS: I noticed to you gave SM a turn with your glasses. How did that make you feel?