Here’s a simple way to help kids with self-regulation skills, like taking turns and sharing, from our Blog Ambassador Carrie Anne of EverythingMom.
When your child finds a toy she loves to use it can be hard to give it up and share, especially when there’s only one version of it available. This can often lead to us as parents stepping in to determine when said toy should be passed on to the next person or removed to avoid disputes. Just like I touched on in my last post, it may be easier to take control but helping our kids regulate their time as they get older is a skill that will benefit them at home with siblings as well as in group scenario in the playground or school.
A fun way to monitor sharing time at home is to incorporate an hourglass as the time keeper. Have one child fill the hourglass with dry sand (wet sand will make it more difficult for the sand to flow). This is a perfect tool to use as the nicer weather has the kids spending more time using the outdoor toys, like the magnifying glass to look for bugs or the bubble tub.
Taking turns doesn’t have to mean the kids aren’t playing together.
Bubbles are a great activity for a group play, with one blowing bubbles while the others try to catch them. Of course everyone wants a chance to try their hand at bubble blowing and the hourglass comes in handy to ensure everyone gets a turn.
You can even add a little friendly competition by determining who can:
- blow the most from dipping the wand once
- blow the smallest bubble
- blow the biggest bubble
- land a bubble without having it pop
- have their bubble float the highest in the sky
As our kids get older, moving out of toddlerhood and into an age where they have a little more self control, giving them the tools to help control their environment can aide in building long term life skills. Remember as parents the need to exhibit patience and understanding. The first few times using this self regulated sharing skill may require you to model the behaviour, walking through how the process works.
Also keep in mind that there will be days when this tool will be a lifesaver and others when it plays no part in keeping the squabbling down. Even when my own kids were younger this wasn’t a solution to fix all sharing needs but it was a tool I could call upon within my mix other parenting skills.
Have you ever run into your child struggling with sharing? How do you handle turn taking squabbles in your home?
* * *
Like this post? Pin it: