I have a 2.5 year old boy who, like most other 2.5 year olds, is very possessive of his toys. Enter the 10 month old baby who just learned to crawl and wants to do everything his big brother does -- including play with the same toys. It's not enough to distract him with a toy 2.5 is not interested in. He'll just go right back to trying to grab whatever his big brother is playing with, and big brother gets very angry.

I've told 2.5 that "Take Sammy away please" is preferable to pushing or hitting, and he sometimes even remembers this. But we can't run interference all the time -- there are some times they're going to have to play together. How can I help guide him towards playing nice, with no resentment?

asked 17 Jan '12, 12:41

Anne's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

We divided up the toys for our kids. Our daughter, who is 3 years older, has her favorite toys in her room where she could go and play with them without her little brother getting into them. Then shared toys went into a common playroom (our son is now old enough that he has his favorites in his room as well). The trick there was not just teaching my daughter to come and get me if her brother took a toy from her, but also teaching him not to take toys away. When it did happen, we told her that he was just a little baby and didn't know any better, so she had to be gentle and help us teach him how to play nicely.

There is no quick fix to a toddler's possessiveness. You have to be patient and explain over and over and over again that it is not okay to hit younger siblings. The trick is consistency. You need to always react in the same way until the older child gets it.


answered 17 Jan '12, 14:15

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

+1 That has been our approach as well

(19 Jan '12, 14:42) Tammy ♦♦

As well as putting toys in a different room, sometime we used to have toys at the dining table, the baby couldn't reach them and the older child could sit at the table and play. Only works with particular types of toys though.

(03 Feb '12, 15:09) Meg Stephenson

I think it is important for kids to learn how to share. You can start with the basics by allowing them to share their food with their siblings. These simple gesture will allow them to learn the value of sharing and caring for the younger sibling. Aside from that you can use educational apps that teaches different values to kids. There is the Maddie and Matt's A-Z's of Good Manners and Values, and the Maddie and Matt's Happy Earth. I let my kids play with it, and they love it!


answered 01 Oct '12, 05:13

blakesparks's gravatar image

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Asked: 17 Jan '12, 12:41

Seen: 3,620 times

Last updated: 01 Oct '12, 05:13