Simple Bounty

Finding Beauty, Grace and Sanity in a Busy World

Taking February 19, 2008

Filed under: Parenting — katieosborne @ 5:50 pm
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I’ve been musing about what the best course of action is when Jonas has something in his hands that he shouldn’t have. Sometimes, if I tell him to give it to me, he will, especially if I trade him for something else. Oftentimes however, he doesn’t want to give it up, and I resort to pulling it out of his hands, and saying “This is mamas.”

Now, I’m wondering whether this approach encourages the “mine” mentality so common in toddlers. I think that toy taking and such is an unavoidable part of development and a teaching opportunity, but does how we approach children when they have a forbidden object reinforce this unattractive behavior?

It makes sense to me. From Jonas’ perspective: he is holding something that I want, something that is mine, and because it is mine, I have the right to take it by force. Isn’t that just what toddlers do, especially when someone else is playing with their toys? They feel they have a right to take it because it belongs to them.

I haven’t seen this much with Jonas yet. ‘Mostly, he just gets a little upset and points when someone has a toy he wants. But I get the toy-snatching “MINE!” response from Jonathan and Ella all the time.

So, I don’t know, can we greatly shape our children’s’ ability to share and take turns by the way we remove things from their possession?

I think so.

That doesn’t give me an answer to how to better approach such situations, but it gives me one more thing to think about.