Helping Our Toddlers in the World

totDo you have a little, yet fast person in your home? Are you chasing them, cleaning up after them, negotiating for them and need ideas on helping them “share?”

Thus far, I feel toddlerhood was one of the toughest times of my life. They are so…full of life and as my grandmother used to say vinegar. I spent my days taking dangerous things out of their hands, saving them from jumping off the top of the slide and talking them into eating something other than fries.

It was hard on me when the second toddler came of age in my house but it was even harder on his big brother. Noah had ruled the roost and now Jake was up running and grabbing. Noah had things swiped from his very hands. His toys were mishandled and the frustration was brewing.

Knowing that Jake was younger and that he did not know “how to share” I first began with explaining this fact to Noah. He didn’t buy it and he didn’t really care. What I was expecting him to say. “Gee Mom, now that you explained that I guess the little guy can just have whatever he wants of mine.”

I had to come up with things to make life a little easier for everyone.

1.) Some of Noah’s favorite toys had to be played with in his room with the door shut or at a table where little brother could not reach.
2.) When Jake grabbed something from someone else’s hands, I responded immediately. I gave the toy back to the original person and firmly told Jake that we do not grab.
3.) I used distration a lot! If his brother was involved with a toy – I diverted Jake’s attention with one of his toys (or with the cell phone – that always worked).
4.) Although Noah had been getting frustrated so had Jake. He saw things he liked and simply wanted to expolre them. Sometimes Jake and I would ask Noah’s permission to check a toy out. I would articulate what jake could not. “Jake is wondering if he could check out this toy for 5 minutes. Then we will return it.” The time limit and the promise to return helped Noah trust us. It was respectful and is still something they use to this day.

Yes – we made it through and my hours and hours of articulating words when Jake did not have them himself has paid off. Sometimes they share all on their own.

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