23 Answers

I would like to know what other mums think of this situation. One particular kid not sharing. My child shares (not always) but when he doesn’t I do something about it. The serial offender is never told to share by guardian or other family members until I say something. This child also snatches/ hounds my child to give up toys he’s playing with. Will always want what my child has. I had the last straw today & said my kid was never going to share with serial offender. My child gets frustrated by the constant hounding, I don’t want him to think it’s ok to be bullied away from toys/playing. Serial offender also doesn’t listen when my child says stop or no. What do other mums do? Age gap is my child 2 and other child 3.5.

Posted by anon, 04/12/13

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  • Mine has huge trouble sharing, but constant reinforcement is slowly getting through. At the same time I was furious with another parent for interfering in my teaching her what to do. I would tread very carefully around this one, as the other parent may get angry. Use it as a way to teach yours how to deal with bad behaviour in others.

  • If you can, I would try to minimise your child being around the serial offender. It’s bad but maybe the serial offender will learn that no one wants to play with him because his behaviour is unacceptable and that will also grab the attention of the parent.

  • there are some good comments here

  • Have had the grand kiddies a lot these holidays and have had to step in quite a few times to stop the fighting over toys etc

  • I hope it went well :)

  • I would step in when your child says ‘stop’ or ‘no’ and alert the other parent to the situation.

  • I would also step in and say something. Get them to take it in turns. And when the serial offenders turn is finished, say ” Oh, you are such a nice boy/girl to let him have a turn”.

  • If the parents dont do anything then I think you should…perhaps try saying something along the lines of “NO Master 3.5 Im sorry but Im going to take that off you and give it back to Master 2 as he was playing with that first…you cant just take toys of Master 2..you have to wait until hes finished but look you can play with the blue car or any of those toys there”…
    I suspect that either Master 3.5 is an only child and used to getting his own way OR he has older siblings that treat him that way so he treats others that way.

    My eldest used to take toys of her younger sister and her sister would get frustrated but would allow it to happen. This went on until one day the younger daughter had had enough and picked up a wooden puzzle board and smashed her elder sister over the head with it. Of course I had to tell her that was wrong and we dont behave that way but inside i was cheering for the fact that she finally stood up for herself and from then on her elder sister stopped taking all the toys off her…phew.

  • I personally would tell the mum to stop her child from doing that and if he didn’t I would explain that I can no longer hang out with them because their child is too rough with mine. There are some friends I don’t do the kid thing with because our kids just don’t get along and if they ask to do something I change it so it’s a no kid get together.


  • When my child wants a toy that another child has, I explain to her that it’s the other child’s turn and it will be her turn next, if the situation is reversed and she has the toy first, I have no issues explaining to the other child that it’s my child’s turn first and then when she is finished it will be their turn. I think this empowers your child to know that they are able to finish playing with the toy without having to always give in to someone who is bullying, and hopefully the other child will also learn how to share as well…

  • We had a similar problem but this child’s parents went even further and would say “she’s not very good at sharing yet, like all 3 year olds” then go back to their coffee! So of course she saw that she didn’t need to share, now she’s 4.5 and a sibling is on the way, she’s already saying she won’t share toys with the baby so those parents are reaping what they sowed. I try distraction, offering my child something else to play with then if it continues say something. Good luck!

  • Where is this problem happening? Is it in day care with day care toys? Or a playgroup with group toys? Or at the ‘offenders’ home? At day care or play group then yes I think the group toys have to be shared (and by ‘share’ I mean taking turns, but I wouldn’t force my child to hand something over just because another kid wanted it). But if the toy in question belongs to the child who doesn’t want to share then I wouldn’t make them. I have a clear rule for my daughter – if it is HER toy then it is HER choice if she wants to share it. If it is someone else’s toy and they decide they want it back she has to give it back. I have had this rule from day dot and she is about to turn three and is a really good sharer and often shares by choice. We have talked about the fact that if you share with others then they are more likely to share with you, but that it is her choice. I hate that so many parents are offended by the concept of a child having ownership of their items when we ourselves as adults rarely are comfortable sharing – would you let a friend drive your car?
    So if the toys are share toys then I encourage sharing but if it is her toy then it is her choice. And if anyone ever had a go at my child because she didn’t want to share her bike or doll etc or taught their kid to hit my daughter over her choice then I would put that nasty parent in their place and stop future play dates.

  • We don’t share our prized possessions why should kids? Giving up a toy when done and waiting your turn is different.

  • I talk to children about having ‘turns’ rather than sharing. The child which has the toy initially is told to hand it to the child who wants it after they finish their turn, & child who wants it is told they need to do waiting until its their turn

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