| Mar 13, 2013
“This is my room not yours.”
“I was born first. Not you.”
“I’m 4. I’m the biggest; you’re the littlest.”
“You need to share.”
Here we go again.
My girls are feuding. This time it’s over a toy spoon. Really, why? * Forehead slap.*
Sure, I could drop into the conversation or separate the two so my house could go back to a peaceful state — but I’m not going to do that. That, my friend, is the easy way out.
They need to learn how to work through their conflict.
Children are not developmentally designed to share. Young children are naturally ego-centric. Oh, that’s Gabriella all the way. She’s 2 and in the “Mine” stage. Giving up something makes her weak. She seeks power… control… independence. She hasn’t quite developed the social skills that her older sister Alejandra posses.
And so the power struggle begins.
“Mine,” Gabriella shouts.
“I had it first,” Alejandra tries to reason.
After a few minutes of “mines” pass, I intervene.
“What’s going on?”
Alejandra blurts out the situation. Gabriella lowers her head admitting submission.
Instead of taking the spoon out of anyone’s hand, I ask them how they can resolve the situation.
Sometimes being the parent means that we have to gently teach them over and over to recognize and value the feelings of others. Also, help children recognize the power in sharing.
Sharing requires practice, which always includes mistakes along with the successes.
That day we started with a positive experience. I asked for the spoon.
“I’m happy when I have this spoon because I like to pretend it’s a microphone,” I said, and then proceeded to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
After squawking the tune, because I’m not much of a singer, I then handed Alejandra the spoon.
“I’m happy when I have this spoon because I like to pretend I’m baking cupcakes,” she said. She then spun the spoon around as if she was mixing batter in a bowl.
Now it’s Gabriella’s turn.
OK. So we haven’t gotten her impulses under control quite yet. But not all is lost.
After banging the spoon on the hard wood floor in her bedroom for a few seconds, she handed me the spoon.
She’ll eventually get the hang of this sharing thing. Slowly, but surely. I hope.
Bio: Josie Loza is a mom to three young children. She blogs about parenting issues, lifestyle and and her family’s quirky adventures on www.momaha.com.