Old Class Question

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I am a home day care provider and mother of a 16-month-old boy. The problem I am having is that he refuses to share any toys with the other children. As soon as a child picks up a toy, he screams and takes it away from them. As soon as they move on to another toy, he does the same thing. I have tried everything from giving him the extra attention he needs to telling him the importance of sharing. I realize that he is too young to really understand this concept, but I want this daycare situation to work out so that I can continue to raise my son and earn money at the same time. Please offer any suggestions you may have. Thank you!!


This is a tough one. I tried the same thing with two little ones and found that they had a very difficult time sharing not only the toys, but their mom. We have a wonderful story in our book "Positive Discipline for Single Parents" about how a single mom was able to continue her day care because she learned to get her four year-old involved in solving the problems. He decided which toys he wouldn't share, and put them away. He also earned $1 a day by helping his mom "take care" of the kids.

I don't have a good answer for a 16 month old because, you are right, he can't understand the concept of sharing. The only thing I can suggest is that you turn a deaf ear to his screams. Keep giving him plenty of attention, but when he takes a toy away from another child, kindly and firmly give him a kiss, give the toy back to the child and help your child find another toy--over and over and over. Hopefully you can afford to get several of the same toys. It will only frustrate you to expect him to learn to share at this age.

My best to you,

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