View Full Version : Dealing with toddlers behaviour

Amateur Owner
04-12-2011, 05:06 PM
I have a 20 month old who's learned the word 'NO'. So when he's playing with anything he doesn't want the other to touch the toys he's always saying 'No'. Also, he's constantly grabbing from the other tot...I've tried the 'let's share', 'we have to take turns' lines but I don't think he gets it! A little frustrated with the situation as he seems to not want to listen - I know it's a toddler thing but I need to find some other way to help him learn & for me to cope!!! HELP

04-12-2011, 05:58 PM
Asking them to share is not going to work at this stage. Simply separate them so that they are playing beside and not with if it gets out of hand. It is just if not more important for the toddlers to learn that we don't take, steal, whatever word you want to use. Just because we see it doesn't mean we can have it. If we want to join into what another person is doing we have to ask if we can play too and the other person has the right to say no. That rule applies to all ages here. Sometimes a child no matter what age just wants to play and pretend alone and they should have that right. I'm sure you have enough things for everyone to do that there is no reason to be on top of each other so it is ok to say find another place to play. Make sure you have duplicates of favourite toys so there is less fighting over it. Another option is to separate toys so you have two small bins of cars or blocks instead of one large box. That way it is easy to quickly move them apart to play the same thing. This is also the stage to watch for hitting or biting to reinforce the "no" if the other person doesn't listen or repeatedly annoys the first child.

04-12-2011, 07:12 PM
Ahh. I know it can sometimes be difficult with toddlers, but they are my favourite age group.

If I am remembering child development right, sharing and taking turns is a concept learned about 3 yrs of age.

When my infants/toddlers take toys away from others, I am a broken record with 'no thank you'. The toy is given back to the other child by the toddler sometimes with help and the child is encouraged to find another toy to play with, sometimes with help. When I help is dependend on the child's maturaty.

With sharing not being a learned concept until closer to preschool aged it is difficult for toddlers to share, some share amazingly well, others not so well. I find once I know the child I know how best to manage their behaviour, meaning whether encouraging them to share is the best option, or maybe setting a timer so that in 2 minutes they need to give their friend a turn with the toy, or sometimes depending on the child I just have to ask them to give the next friend the toy when they are all done. Sometimes situations dictate that a child shouldn't be required to share as sometimes a child just wants to play alone.

I have a little one in care (2 1/2) who will do something similar to what you say, she grabs the toy, says 'no' and tries to turn her back to her friend that is trying to play with the toy. Her behaviour is best managed not by encouraging her to share but my empowering her not to have to share, if that makes sense. If I see her do this, I just gently remind her that the toys are for everyone to play with and when she is all done she needs to pass the toy to child B. This allows child A to know that the toy won't be taken away from her and child B then knows s/he will get the toy in a little bit. As grown ups we know this is still sharing, but I don't quite think she views it as sharing, lol.

Amateur Owner
04-12-2011, 08:34 PM
Tot time, thanks, that was encouraging and although I have a bigger school age child too, can hardly remember this stage - I was also working in an office at the time and not exclusively around toddlers :P Anyway I will try your suggestions! I've as much to learn as they do ;)

Playfelt, I guess I wasn't keeping that in mind - about the need to play by themselves. I do usually redirect my tot to another toy, but I find since he's the only other one he keeps getting toys taken away and won't 'try' to take it back. I noticed he started kind of complaining to me - they both don't speak yet, but he'll say 'Mama' in a whiney voice if I missed what happened, and then I usually know something was taken away...anyway tomorrow is a new day!