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teaching how to share

my 3yo is a sweet girl, but she has trouble sharing her toys with her 1yo sister. for example, we buy toys they can share because we can't afford to buy one toy for each of them, so we bought a tea party set. instead of sharing 1 cup of the 4 in the set, she keeps them all to herself & throws a tantum if i ask her to share. i've threatened to take it away if she doesn't share, but it doesn't seem fair for only my 1yo to play or for me to take it away from them both. i've explained before they start playing that she needs to share, but halfway in, she gets stingy again and refuses to share. she'll try to be smart and give a toy she doesn't want to play with, but my little one wont want that toy either. how can i get them to play nicely and share?


Asked by rAbella at 4:59 PM on Jun. 29, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 17 (3,306 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • I agree that you can't "fix" it for them, but at this young age, they are still learning. Children learn by example. Everytime you give the kids something remind them you are sharing. And use opportunities to teach your older daughter to share. Give your oldest daughter two cookies ask her to share one with her sister. Assuming she does, recognize it and tell her what a good job she did sharing. If she doesn't, then next time give the two cookies to the younger one and ask her to share. Read books together which explain the concept of sharing. Dora, Duck and Goose, and Curteous Kids are all good books for sharing. Talk about them together.  See them and more on  (Look on the Manners and Promoting Good Behavior links)


    Answer by momjs at 7:06 PM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • this is a normal thing for a 3 year old. To them, the world revolves around them, they haven't realized that others have feelings or wants and needs like they do.

    You teach and show them how to share, but dont expect perfection. She will get it, she is just being a normal kid. sure is hard on the parents though. ;)

    Answer by mom2twobabes at 5:00 PM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • I think it would be a better idea to actually take it away than to threaten to take it away. It may not be totally fair to the 1 yo, but it will get the point accross to the 3 yo. I think if you keep saying you will take it away, but don't follow through it is just going to get worse. Another option might be to put the 3 yo in time out as soon as she refuses to share (take her away from the toy), and tell her she can come back when she's ready to place nice and share.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 5:16 PM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • I agree - take it away. Your one year old is listening and watching - and learning - that your threats don't matter. Your 3-year-old already knows this. Both are also learning that the younger one gets special treatment - if a fight starts, who do you always blame? The older one. Both will take advantage of that at different points but the youngest will use it to get away with just about anything. Don't play into it.
    Change tactics. If there is a fight over a toy, the toy goes in time out right along with BOTH kids. As the parent, you do not care who started what, only that the fight end. They need to learn to work out differences on their own. If they both agree to bring a problem to you and abide by your decision, fine. But if they simply fight, punish both. Yes, I know one is only one. Time out is fine - one mintue per year of age, 1/2 minutes are allowed for 1/2 years. And the toy is gone for the day.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 5:56 PM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • I would also suggest sitting down and playing WITH them. Model and directly teach how to share.

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 11:30 PM on Jun. 29, 2009