How Do I Teach My Kids To Share With Each Other

My four year old is having difficulty sharing her toys with her younger sibling, and worse, she takes his toys from him. What can I do?

MOM: I would say that this is a tough problem. And there are different behavioral things that you can do. Suppose the baby is playing with a toy and the older child grabs it away. You have to give the toy back to the baby while saying to the older child: “It’s okay to share our toys, but if you take this one away, you will need to give your brother a different toy.” So you might teach them that because it’s easier to take for the older child than just demanding, “give that toy back.”

MOLLY: The whole substitution thing.

MOM: Right, you want to do a substitution, and you can do the substitution thing going both ways. Like, the older child can hold two toys and the younger one could chose one – if he’s at an age that he can. And vice versa. But in the end, the bottom line is that everyone has at least one toy to play with. One child isn’t allowed to hoard the toys and leave the other without a toy.

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