sharing copyA frustrated parent may want to take away any object that children are fighting over to end this argument but the writer suggests that this may send the wrong message. Instead of figuring out ways to assert or respect boundaries, this may just let a child know that the biggest kid of all (the adult) wins.

Instead, Educarer recommends trying to break the tension by not taking sides and voicing gentle observations:

  • “You’re using that, aren’t you? You’re holding on to it.”
  • “You’re not done with it, are you? You’re letting them know that you’re still using it.”
  • “It’s hard to wait for your turn. Could I help you to wait by sitting with you?”

Modeling better behavior is the best way to create a change. This takes patience, however, because toddlers can seem unreasonable to adults who already know 'the rules'. However, over time, you will find your child will take up your example.

And for more perspective, the author concludes:

"…young children are very capable of initiating incredibly generous exchanges all by themselves. We just tend to pay a lot more attention to the really loud conflicts, rather than the quiet kindnesses."

photo credit: Oakley Originals