Your two year old loves her play dates, but sometimes it may seem that all the toddlers do is fight over toys. Do you know how to handle such disagreements and teach your child in the process? Also, it could be time to get rid of that soother.
Your Child’s Development
By month 29, all parents of a 2 year old know what happens when you put two toddlers and a room full of toys together. Inevitably, there will be a disagreement over a toy. This is especially true if the toys belong to one of the toddlers. A child of two and a half can be very protective of her possessions. It’s hard to teach a child about sharing whether they are an only child or a child in a large family. Sharing is a learned behaviour and at such a young age, it is not a natural skill.
Teach your toddler to learn to start sharing:
- Show your child what sharing is. Give her some of your cookie and explain to her that you are sharing and that sharing is a nice thing.
- When a disagreement takes place, remove the item that the children are arguing about and immediately divert the children’s attention to another toy.
- When you are around other children point out situations to your child where sharing is taking place and use the opportunity to discuss what is happening.
- Provide activities for the children that allow them to play on their own, but yet still interact. Colouring pictures or playing with clay is a good choice.
- When your child does share, make sure you give lots of praise. Positive reinforcement is always the best lesson.
- If you know that another toddler is coming over to play and there is a particular toy that always causes distress, remove that toy before the children play. Additionally, if your child has one favourite toy that she is very attached to, put it away so your child will not get upset.
Speaking of attachment, sometime around this age many parents are struggling with getting their child to give up their soother. This can be one of the most difficult habits to break. Her soother not only makes her feel secure, but it has become her best friend. It may take several tries and a lot of tears, but eventually she will give it up. Here are some ideas:
- Get her to trade her soother for something that she really wants.
- Tell her that the new babies need soothers and she should give hers to a new baby.
- Gradually wean her off the soother by only giving it to her at bedtime. After a few days, try every other day. The less she has her soother, the more she will forget about it.
- Leave the soother for the “Soother Fairy”, who will take the soother and leave a special treat in its place.
- Make the soother unappealing by poking a small hole in the tip. This will alter the feeling that your child gets from sucking on the soother and may be the trick to get her to put it down.