Teaching Tots NOT to Share

Cynthia Dermody
sharing toys

Photo by LisaAnnM

CafeMom JrsMommy07 wants her 2 1/2 year old son to learn to share his toys with playmates that come over ... just not the handmade one-of-a-kind rocking horse that was a gift from his grandparents. Her friend's children are rough on toys, so she's been putting the pony away when they come over to visit.

But does this teach her son a bad lesson?

Toddler Mom group members don't think so. They also hide toys from their child's playmates all the time.

"It's not good to teach the sharing of everything," says one mom. "When he is old enough to buy car, would you expect him to loan it to a reckless driver? Of course not. You are teaching him that some things are special and not meant to be shared with just anyone."

On the one hand, it makes perfect sense. Even our own MrsManners says it's okay to designate select toys for sharing.

On the other, sharing is a tough concept for even older kids to grasp. Throwing in exceptions can be confusing. Many child development experts say children don't fully begin to to grasp the concept of selflessness that leads to unforced sharing until age 7 or 8.



Should toddlers be made to share all their possessions?

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