Can you really teach a pre-toddler to share? That’s the question I’m pondering these days.
“How did you teach your girls to share?” I asked a fellow twin mom. We were at the park, and I watched with admiration as her four-year-old girls played famously alongside each other on the slide.
“Well, to be honest we just bought two of everything,” was her response.
Oh. Well, I can’t really afford two of everything. So I make a mental promise to myself. I’m going to be different. I’ll find a way to teach my girls to share.
A week later, reality sinks in. Ava is jingling a set of keys in her hands, and Kaitlyn tries to swipe them from her. Ava wins the tug-of-war, and Kaitlyn ensues a tatrum.
“Quick,” I say to my husband. “Give her a set of keys.”
“Maybe we really do need two of everything,” my husband replies as Kaitlyn simmers down with her own set. I think he’s right.
One principle we taught the girls early in their life was “Ava’s turn, Kaitlyn’s turn.” When a sister desires the toy her twin has, we tell her, “it’s Ava’s turn” or “it’s Kaitlyn’s turn.” Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but I’m still consistent with repeating the phrase.
I found that it works when I’m changing their diapers. One child is usually hugging my legs while the other has her business attended to. I say, “It’s your sister’s turn,” and it seems to work.
The phrase also applies to bath time. Both girls, love their time in the tub and are racing to jump in the water with all their clothes on. But this mom, however, can only undress one child at a time. So I say, “It’s Ava’s turn,” and Kaitlyn finds something else to do while waiting her turn.
This phrase is effective for waiting in line, but it’s not however effective for sharing an item. I’m on the prowl for an answer, but I’m wondering if in the end, am I going to have to budget for two?
Question: Do you have any tricks to teaching a pre-toddler to share?
Playing it solo? When will my girls learn to share?
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