Why Doesn’t My Toddler Share?!
Not sharing is very normal during toddlerhood. In fact, expect it.
The concept of sharing—what’s mine, what’s yours, and how we interact with each other’s stuff—is a big one! It can be hard enough for adults, let alone our little ones. At this stage, forcing a child to share will prove fruitless.
So what do you do when you’re at your toddler’s play group and you notice your child isn’t really engaging or playing with other children? When she’s just playing side-by-side other kids? Specialists call this “parallel play,” and it’s very common with toddlers. Don’t force interaction; instead, focus on preventing unnecessary outbursts. Make sure there are enough toys for each child, and distract your toddler with a new item or activity when her toy is taken from her.
It’s also helpful to model appropriate behavior in front of your tot. Your little one will hear you say things like, “It’s not your turn right now,” “thank you,” and “please give me a turn when you’re done.” Before you know it, she’ll be trying out those sentences for herself.
As your tot is learning how to interact with others, don’t succumb to social pressure or looks from other moms when your child doesn’t share. Kindly explain your toddler hasn’t yet grasped the sharing concept, and thank them for giving her grace as she explores and observes social behavior.