13 May 2007

Happy Mother's Day

I hope everyone is having a happy Mother's Day. Mine has been great so far. The twins and I have been in our usual routine: breakfast, get dressed, play a little, walk to Starbuck's, nap. The rest of the day promises more of the same: play, lunch, play, nap, visit with friend, snack, walk, dinner, bed. After the kids go to bed, I've lined up a babysitter so that I can head out for a Mom's Day dinner with my best friend. I'm looking forward to that.

I was somewhat worried that Mother's Day would be an extra hard day for me without John. Instead, I find that I feel very calm and peaceful. This weekend has been good for me; the twins and I are really hitting our stride. They have been napping well (knock on wood!), we've had a lot of fun playing together and getting out and about, and they've slept relatively well despite having the sniffles and the fact that Riley has cut two more teeth (!). The past few days have given me a lot of confidence: I can do this, and sometimes it's even fun.

When I was in the shower this morning, still shaking off the crankies about being up at 6:30 a.m., I thought a lot about how I wanted to spend this day mentally. I knew what I was going to be doing physically, but I wanted to be sure that I had a good attitude going in. I decided to try to focus on being the best mom that I can. On some level, I try to do that every day, but today I want to work on being in the moment more. I want to be extra-sensitive to balancing my needs with the twins'. I want to remember to tell Maddie and Riley throughout the day how much I love them and how much John loves them. Basically, I want to do all the things I normally do, but just with more awareness of the mothering aspect of the day. My mind is usually focused on a million things at once, and I'm hoping to narrow that down today.

However you are spending the day, I hope you enjoy it. I want to send special Mother's Day wishes to anyone who has or is struggling with infertility and anyone who has lost a child or parenting partner.

*************************
I have a parenting question, which seems a propos given that it's Mother's Day. I was at a party yesterday afternoon with the twins. There was another child there, a two-and-a-half year old boy, Timothy. Timothy's mom had wisely brought a canvas sack full of toys to keep her son busy, a vast assortment of toy cars, trucks, and trains that Timothy had spread out in the living room. I had foolishly not brought any toys, but the twins were pretty well amused with paper cups and coasters. Until they saw Timothy's stash. As Maddie and Riley crawled towards the toys, I attempted to distract them with crackers and said to Timothy's mom, "Would it be OK for Maddie and Riley to play with a couple of Timothy's toys?"

Her reply kind of surprised me. "Well," she said, "sometimes he shares and sometimes he doesn't."

As if on cue, and as Maddie and Riley got into striking distance, Timothy started to gather up his toys and pull them out of the twins' reach.

"I understand," I said. "Sharing is hard."

Seeing as Timothy clearly was not into sharing and that the temptation was going to be too much for the twins, the three of us went into another room and that was that.

My question is this: What is the protocol in that kind of situation? I have to say that I fully expected Timothy's mom to let the twins play with one or two of her son's toys. There were waaaaaay more trains/trucks/etc. than he could play with at once. But from what I understand, 2.5 is a little young to really understand sharing. Thoughts? Obviously, the best solution is for me to remember to bring the twins their own toys!

46 comments:

Maria said...

I'm so glad to hear that you're enjoying Mother's Day!

On sharing...our rule is that if you bring something to a party/playgroup/whatever, you have to be prepared to share it. We've been doing that since my son was a tiny toddler, before he was possessive of his stuff. If he brought an entire sack of toys to a party, I would absolutely expect him to share one or two with a smaller child. He's 3 now, and he sometimes chooses not to bring anything with him if he doesn't feel like sharing, but even if he brings one toy, he is expected to take turns playing with it. Sharing isn't something that a toddler can teach himself; it's something he has to be taught, and it's a hard lesson to learn. If I had been the mom in that situation, I would've let him pick out what he would offer to your kids (to let him keep a sense of control, which toddlers need), but he would have to share something. Perhaps I expect to much of a toddler, but I think 2.5 is definitely old enough for a child to be able to share one or two toys from a bagful!

Angela said...

Happy Mother's Day to you, so happy to read that your day is going well, I hope you have a lovely dinner with your friend.

That Mom needs to chill....if she brings toys to a party or a playdate, etc, it's just rude not to share a few, especially if there are more than enough to go around. I know that toddlers aren't good at sharing, guess what, that's a great opportunity to help teach them. They will not like it but if you start off with having them share some not so special or favorite toys, slowly, they get the hang of it. I agree with Maria's comments, she could have let her son choose a few toys he would let the other children play with. Glad you handled it so well and calmly. I probably would have handled it differently, I would have also removed my kids from the situation but also been passive-aggressive and totally bitchy and said "let's go into the other room, it's too bad Tommy doesn't know how to share" and given the other Mom a superior smile and walked away. You are truly a nicer and more forgiving person than I am.

Kathryn said...

T's mum was out of order as far as I'm concerned...He'll never learn to share if he's not taught to. Oh dear.
Glad you and the twins coped OK...
And I'm inspired by your positive approach to Mother's Day (which happened back in March in the UK)...You are a great mum, and those twins are hugely blessed.
Hope you have a lovely meal with your friend tonight.

Kier said...

Happy Mothers Day :)

I definitely think that 2.5 is an appropriate age to expect a child to share some toys - not to fully grasp the concept of sharing, perhaps, but to be able to practice sharing and having the experience of sharing so that he can be familiar with it!

Robin J. said...

Maria and the others explained it so well, there is little else to say. Sharing is a learned experience. Parents must teach their children to do so... and it's never too early to learn.

But you were wise to take your twins to another room and avoid the inevitable struggle that would have occur if T wasn't in a sharing mood.

Yankee T said...

What everyone else said. Don't bring the stuff if you don't want to share. Maria is so right on-sharing is a learned behavior, not one we're born with.

Happy Mother's Day, my friend. I'm incredibly proud of you.

Melany aka Supermom said...

I carry a toy or two in my handbag for my little one (16 months). I do however expect my kids to share. I can't say that I would expect someone else's kid to share but I would think that the mom should at least try.
Happy Mother's Day

liz said...

What everybody else said about sharing.

I'm glad that your mother's day is a happy one!

I keep a box of crayons in my purse at all time just in case. We keep getting them at restaurants, so it's easy to slip one in. MS keeps a box in his jacket pocket and we have tons in the (former diaper) restaurant-sanity bag. The great thing about crayons is you absolutely cannot tell one red crayon from another so sharing's relatively easy. Confronted with a toddler that won't share his toys with your kids? Share their crayons with him! That'll show 'em!

Sunny said...

I thought of you this morning when I got up dreading today. I am glad you are having a wonderful day!

buggsmommy said...

I agree with everyone before me. I think at this age though I talk to my son (and my students--preschoolers) about "taking turns" with things. It's a more concrete concept at this age (it's worked for my little guy.)

When we bring along small toys like little cars or whatever, I try to make sure there's a bunch of them. I usually say, "oh look, one for you and one for so and so. Blank would like a turn, which one would you like him to see?" We definitely talk about sharing, but taking turns has been my catch phrase. My son will be 2 in September.

I CANNOT stand when people don't expect their kids to share things (because I believe that treating the situation like she did teaches him that it doesn't matter if they're his toys or not, he doesn't HAVE to do anything. He may not understand posessions. Does that make sense?) Good luck to Timothy when he goes to school. 2.5 isn't too young either. Oh, I could go on forever....but I won't.

Your day sounds perfect. Enjoy it!

Rachel said...

Amen to all the other comments. I agree that the mother was out of line. It is developmentally normal for a 2.5-year-old to not *want* to share, but it's definitely not too early to start teaching them about sharing. When I bring toys to the park or a playdate, the whole purpose is to teach Bella to share with the other kids.

I'm glad your Mother's Day is going well so far. Happy Mother's Day!

Anonymous said...

Hi
As a mother with a child with special needs (not easily identifiable to a stranger), which could some days include having trouble sharing, I would give Timothy and his mother some slack. There might be issues that none of us know about.

medstudentmama said...

I love your mental approach to Mother's day. I also have baby twins (6 months). Today, I tried to focus on how much I love my children and how much I'm grateful for and humbled by motherhood.

As for sharing, (I was just thinking about how much bloggers share and it's amazing that one starts with sharing toys and progress/develop into the more abstract of sharing experiences and feelings... but enough deep thoughts) I like a lot of the suggestions I've read so far, so I guess the only thing to add was the first thing that occurred to me after reading your post was that Timothy appears to be the one in control of that relationship.

In my experience, our children have responded well to schedules, rules and consistency. And having a sharing rule as Maria explained is a wonderful idea. Sharing is hard, as others have noted, but it can be modeled; I'm not sure that mom was doing a great job of it.

Klynn said...

I'm a bit late to this party, but most everyone else has already handled the sharing issue quite well. Boog (now 3), has always been quite good at sharing. Even so far as letting two other little boys (strangers) at the grocery store hold his beloved "Cars" die cast cars. Thank goodness they were good kids and gratefully examined them and handed them back. As far a Timothy and his Mom, they would *not* be ones I could cultivate in playgroups or social groups. Maybe the toddler doesn't know how to share but the mom damn sure should.

I am so happy to read that things are going so well for you. It sucks that having a schedule means that you don't get to sleep late occasionally, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks (or at least it appears that way to me). I have a feeling that being the dedicated mother of twins, that you will be a far better parent than lazy 'ol me, with a husband and teenager to help around the house and with the little one. Need I say how much I admire your strength and dedication to your babies?

Happy Mother's Day, SuperSnickMommy.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Happy Mother's Day! I am glad you are having a good day.

I think Maria's answer to your question is very good. I don't think you can expect a toddler to share everything, but if there is more than one child can play with, to have him pick out something to share is a great idea.

Wabi said...

Happy mother's day!

I'm wondering if Timothy's mama is a live-by-the-books sort of parent? I ask because just the other day I was leafing through "What to Expect: The Toddler Years." And that book says something to the effect that kids as old as THREE or FOUR should never be forced to share, because then it isn't genuine, and might make them want to share even less than usual.

If Timmy's mom is a "What to Expect" devotee ... well, let's just say that I find that book very silly and impractical. I personally think that kids need to practice sharing from an early age. While I get that a 30 month old doesn't want to do it, it's not all about her kid all the time. A mother completely catering to "Developmentally Appropriate Timmy" is not being very nice to the other children (and parents) in the room. That's just obnoxious. Especially since you *know* that if the tables were turned and little Timmy was crying because he was toyless while your kids were rolling around on a big pile of them, she'd be pretty upset if you wouldn't make the twins share.

NanarocksWeen said...

I'm a Nana. My grandsons are 4, 1 1/2, and 1 3/4. I've found that it's never to early to teach sharing. I would have expected that mother to help her son learn about sharing. It's a shame she didn't take the opportunity to help her child learn one of the fundamentals of life.

carosgram said...

I know I am in the minority on this one but I have no fault to find wit T or T's mom. She thought ahead of time and brought something for her child to play with. She honored her son's ownership of the toys by saying it was his decision to share or not share. T showed he understood that if he didn't want to share he needed to pick his toys up and put them away. I thought you handled it well by just moving your children to another room so they wouldn't have to be reminded about toys they couldn't play with. I don't think it is necessary to be rude to another child or parent because they didn't do things they way you would or wanted them to. Everyone behaved well in my opinion. I have toys I wouldn't share with others. I just put them away until those people leave. I don't believe that just because I have something that someone else wants that I need to share it. Neither does T.
Happy Mother's Day, Snickollet!

Billie said...

I am also in the minority; I don't think the other mother was obliged to share her toys with your children. I also think that you don't really "teach" a two-year-old to share; you force them to, which some parents are willing to do and some aren't.

We tell them and tell them and tell them that they have to share, and then eventually they do it and we think all that teaching finally got through to them, when actually they just got to an age where they could share. Sharing is a developmental thing that children can do quite easily when they are old enough, and not before then.

And, some personality types are better at it than others. That mother might have been attempting to avoid a god-awful scene, if she knows her child well (I have one sharer and one who hates to share and will go down fighting every time - just different personalities).

Also, I've always found it interesting how intent we are on having our children share everything that is theirs with the whole world, when we don't really do that. Most grown-ups would be put out if a stranger approached them at a party and said, "Hey, can I borrow your iPod?" Or your digital camera, or that bracelet you're wearing, or your Mercedes. We do NOT share the same way we are always forcing our children to share. I realize it's an over-simplification, but I still find it strange that we force our children to share all of their posessions all the time.

That said, I also try not to put temptation in other kids' way, because, just like sharing isn't something they grasp at that age, neither is not being able to play with something they want. I would never bring toys to spread out in front of other kids and then not allow them to play with them.

Anyway, I'm glad you had a happy Mother's Day and I love reading your blog and I think you are doing an amazing job or keeping it all together and raising those babies.

kim said...

Happy Mother's Day, Snick!

(And I'm in the pro-sharing camp: if you bring toys, they can get shared. My toddler's bedroom is her safe zone where she doesn't have to share - items downstairs or in the playroom are fair game during playgroups.)

feener said...

Hi
first off I would like to say how brave you are. I just found your blog from 20minutes of my life blog and I am inspired by your courage. As for the 2.5 and sharing, my thoughts and I have a 2.5, if you are going to bring toys to any place where other kids are going to be than as the mom you better make sure your child understands they have to share. I think it is irresponsible of the mom. You did the right thing (in my mind) by leaving the room. I would not hang out with that mom ever.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...

I try to make my toddler share (sometimes it works, othertimes it's a fit), and I think that for most kids, you can start teaching sharing early on.

However, I also try to *always* keep in mind that we can't know other people's positions or situations. That mom may have had some good reason for not forcing the issue of sharing.

I know a 3 1/2 year old girl who was recently hospitalized. Ever since, her behavior has regressed. This is understandable, normal even, but it's sometimes distressing to her mom to be judged by other moms because of her daughter's regressed behaviors. Also, I know another mom who uses a leash-type device with their son. I admit, when I first saw the device, I was a bit appalled, however, after I got to know them, I learned that the son had some behavioral issues, and the device was truly necessary.

These are extreme examples, but they each reminded me that if we don't know a person's situation, we really shouldn't judge.

shaynee said...

Happy Mother's Day. I hope you enjoyed your evening out with your friend.

On the sharing issue, I think a lot depends on the context. From how I understood the situation, your family and T's had the only children at the party. In that scenario, I think sharing would be less expected; what if a child had some toys at a restaurant and a family from another table approached and asked to borrow some? That would feel a little odd, I believe. I agree with several of the other posters that, in general, when going to a playgroup or playdate--where you know you will interact with other children--it's wise not to bring anything that you don't want to be shared. I also agree that the situation presented an opportunity to broach the subject of sharing. If I had been T's mother, I think I would have asked him if there were any toys that he would be willing to share and respect his decision, whether he chose to share or not. His mom knew how her son could respond and was truthful about it (although her response seemed abrupt). I think you handled the situation beautifully.

I also agree with a couple of the later posters that forcing a child to share could lead to insincerity. A parent educator we meet with at my daughter's preschool mentioned a similar problem with compelling a young child to apologize a lot. When kids are 2 or so they often don't get the concept of "sorry"; so if a parent constantly tells a toddler "you have to say you're sorry" when the kid doesn't really understand what it means to apologize, it can render the word meaningless over time. The educator mentioned kids who adopt the word as a pass to do anything, walking up to shove another kid while saying "sorry" and moving on to push someone else. I'm not saying we shouldn't teach kids about situations where sharing and apologizing are important, but when we transfer our social expectations onto them it doesn't always work.

I'm glad you and the twins are finding a good rhythm.

Indie Mama said...

Hmmm...

I try to make my toddler share (sometimes it works, othertimes it's a fit), and I think that for most kids, you can start teaching sharing early on.

However, I also try to *always* keep in mind that we can't know other people's positions or situations. That mom may have had some good reason for not forcing the issue of sharing.

I know a 3 1/2 year old girl who was recently hospitalized. Ever since, her behavior has regressed. This is understandable, normal even, but it's sometimes distressing to her mom to be judged by other moms because of her daughter's regressed behaviors. Also, I know another mom who uses a leash-type device with their son. I admit, when I first saw the device, I was a bit appalled, however, after I got to know them, I learned that the son had some behavioral issues, and the device was truly necessary.

These are extreme examples, but they each reminded me that if we don't know a person's situation, we really shouldn't judge.

Anonymous said...

I have a 3 year old boy who has intense attachments to cars and since he could walk has always carried one in his hand when we go out. It is like a security blanket/pacifier for him. Nothing irks me more than when another kid comes up and tries to grab it from him at parks, birthday parties, etc. You wouldn't believe the parents who actually look at me and him like we are supposed to share just because it is there. I am not talking about a large amount of toys either. One or two at most that he is holding in his hands. We should also teach our kids about boundaries and self control and that just because someone else has a toy in public it is not an open invitation. I teach my kids about respecting other's property and also sharing, but I think there are situations to consider and it is a touchy subject.

Happy Mothers Day from Heather.

Lisa said...

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm so happy you've had a nice day.

I pretty much agree with the sharing advice. When we bring things to the playground we share, and I always ask other mothers and kids first, but they usually always say yes to my guys sharing their toys as well.

I suppose there is a possibility that more is going on with Timmy than meets the eye, so I guess what you did was best in just politely leaving the room. But, yes, it might have been a real missed opportunity to share.

One thing I've noticed with twins, I don't know if this is correct or just in my head, but my kids are a bit ahead in the sharing/taking turns gig that other singletons their age. It is simply because they've had more practice, I'm sure. But I try to keep this in mind, that most other kids might not even know the vocabulary that my kids know in regards to sharing, turn-taking, trading toys, etc. My kids frequently play with a little boy their age who, lets just say is very very used to getting his own way. They just stare at him like he is an idiot when he completely doesn't get taking turns. Its kind of funny. Not that my kids are anywhere near perfect at it, but they are way more familiar with the sharing expectation than many of the other kids are. So, I think you kind of have to keep that in mind sometimes.

doodlebug said...

The whole sharing thing has been on my mind a lot recently as my twins have started to get more aggressive about their toys. I'll tell you one thing, it probably wouldn't have mattered a bit if you'd taken a whole bag full of them. Once my kids see someone else's toys, they forget all about their own and want to play with the other stuff RIGHT NOW. Most of the time when we get together with others, all of the moms understand that and help each other out, and there's a lot of mutual sharing, or whatever you want to call it when they're that age.

I've discovered that it's one thing if my two are trying to take each other's stuff--I can try to distract them with something shiny, switch toys on them, move them to opposite ends of the room or whatever, and if someone's crying, he'll forget about it in a minute. But when we're out and about, I feel like I have to be so careful. I'm new to it all and I find mommy politics/protocol totally weird.

Hope you had a peaceful Mother's Day and a lovely dinner. I just found your blog recently and wanted to thank you for sharing your story. Your writing is beautiful in very many ways.

HP said...

Everyone has already said everything I would have said. I think this was a good opportunity for T's mother to teach him about sharing. Having said that, there may be contextual issues that aren't apparent that influenced her decision. Important to also to teach children to respect the things of others..but your twins are too young for that. I think you handled the situation admirably and better than many might have.

I'm so glad you enjoyed Mother's Day.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely, if you take toys to places where there are other children be prepared to share. I have 30 month triplets and I always try to make them understand they MUST share, somedays they cooperate and some days they don't. The mom needs to make the decision not leave it up to a 30 month onld child to decide!

buddha_girl said...

First, know that you, John, and the twins were on my mind this entire weekend when I was at Relay for Life. I'm going to post on the event later today after I've been able to catch my breath.

You are a wonderful wife, mother, and woman. Know that you do your best every day even when you think you're at you're worst. You're an inspiration to more people than you'll ever know, Snick!

Sharing:
If a kid brings personal stuff to a public event, SHARING should be expected. I don't want to hear about "the kid's an only child," "it's hard to share," blah blah blah.

Sharing's hard for ADULTS. Too bad. So sad. I'm shocked and dismayed that Timothy's MOTHER didn't sit down with the kids and ENCOURAGE sharing and play. What a nitwit. Shame on HER!

You handled the situation with class.

2beautifulgirlsforme! said...

You sound great - So glad you had a good day.

On the sharing - I have a 2.5 yo and she can definitely share. She doesn't always love it, but she knows it is the right thing to do. Usually I am in your position (Forgot the toys!), and in most cases the other child gives E a toy or two willingly or the parents coax them into it. When E is the one with toys (almost never), the same happens. If she doesn't share she loses out too. I think you ran into poor parenting more than a tough toddler!
Glad to see your writings again!
Sarah B

amy said...

billie,

loved your comment about adults and sharing, it was right on the mark!

snick,

in my experience of parenting (kids are now 16, 14 and 12), everyone who posted above is right. the sharing advocates, the "there may be more going on then we know" advocates, and all those in-between. Other parents will do things that absolutely appall you, and some will be dispensing such great wisdom that you want to take notes. The truth is, there is NO book, no RIGHT way of doing any of this--we wing it every day. Most of us wing it with a LOT of help from friends, family, moms you meet on the playground and doctor's office and now the blogisphere, but ultimately we do the best we can with what we can, and I always assume that other parents are doing the same--that if I see that mom and I think "i'd never do that with my kids in that situation", i still think "She's doing the best she can and what she thinks is right". It's a tricky business, parenting, not easy under the best of circumstances and we all just muddle through it and hope our kids don't need too much therapy later in life. As you go along and encounter more of these kind of situations, you'll take the best of what you see and leave the ones you don't agree with behind, and keep on going on. It's all we can do, and to our kids, it's everything.

I think you're doing an amazing job.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Wow, you've touched a nerve here obviously. I'm in the sharing camp too. If you bring toys to a party, you should expect that others will want to play with them. It's a good way to make friends. As for you wanting to be a more perfect mother, I think we all endeavor to do that. And some days are better than others. The twins will know you love them in every little thing you do for them. Happy Mother's Day one day late to you. I think you're doing a fine job.

OTRgirl said...

Working in a nursery during a church service I was able to make taking turns a fun thing for two unrelated toddlers (age 2). Both were strong-willed and usually got into fights with each other. Neither of their mothers thought the kids capable of sharing (and the adults had an unspoken dislike of each other--so weren't as likely to try). My point is, two kids, in a very short amount of time, not previously trained to share, were fully capable of it if it was presented as a fun game rewarded with lots of praise.

I don't know what it would feel like from the Mom's perspective, I just obviously disagree with the basic 'kids can't share' perspective. As long as it's a fun game, kids are capable of a lot.

In any case, Happy Mother's Day! I'm glad it was far better than you expected this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Unless it is a baby doll that is like a member of the family I discourage bringing toys, as it is going to start a fight and there will be sharing issues in most children this age. I want my child to share and learn sharing.

Another mom in the family always brings a big bag full of toys, drinks, sippy cups, and treats for her child. The mom & the child don't like to share.

I want my child to eat at meal time not snack all day. But there is the big bag of temptation at every family function.

I find it annoying, but she has a right to parent as she feels fit.

I just notice that when my child is having fun playing with something laying around like say making a paper cup building, and her son comes over, then I hear a lot about "sharing" from her.

Most little children really want you to play and interact with them, and it is not about the toys anyway.

I try and do what you do. Go to another room and play with my kids myself. I like my kids to use their imagination anyway and I would rather avoid those short lived toys.

Julia said...

Happy belated Mother's Day!

And I agree with everyone who said Timothy's mom is way out of line. 2.5 is certainly isn't too young to know that you have to share. Very rude.

I wonder if Timothy also thinks that everyone else has to share with him?

Mama Nabi said...

Ha. First of all, Happy Mother's Day!

Second - we've had pretty much same thing happen over and over again, except with Children's Museum things.
LN shares and understands the concept of sharing (she just turned 2) so it's not necessarily about age. I understand that every parent has different parenting methods but, having been on the receiving end with PUBLIC toys, it's pretty annoying when a kid's hoarding toys while others kids look on longingly. I guess that's how we end up with likeable adults and adults who don't play well with others.

Pantheist Mom said...

Snick,

I thought the other mom's response was fine, personally. Since you asked her if her son could share, there's the implicit assumption that she had a choice of answering yes or no. Her unwillingness to insist her son share (whatever anyone else may decide for their own child) is ultimately her choice. You were perfect in asking, and then in respecting her answer. Whatever we all would answer for our own child in a similar circumstance is kind of irrelevant. If we ASK someone something, we should be willing to accept either yes or no as an answer, which you did.

Thought about you yesterday...
Happy Mother's Day to you, a day or so late.

Cibele said...

Happy Mother's day.
The sooner the learn how to share, the better it is! I don't blame the boy, the mother should be the one teaching him how to share...

Anonymous said...

First of all, I'm glad that you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Yes, 2.5 is young to share but it's not going to get any easier if his mother never encourages you to share. I've got almost 6-year-old twins and our rule has always been that if we take it to a "public" place (i.e., a park, someone's house, etc.) we have to be willing to share it. Sometimes they've had a hard time sharing when someone comes to our house so I've always let them put away 1-2 "special" toys. I think that Timothy's mother needs to teach him to share. I would've been rather taken aback if I had encountered her.

Also, even if you bring Maddie and Riley's toys they will ALWAYS be interested in the other child's toys because they're new. However, in that case you can say to Timothy, "Riley is giving you his truck. Can he play with yours for a few minutes?" Even if Tim doesn't want to share the first toy you touch he should eventually be willing to trade. (He will, of course, be interested in the new toys too.)

(P.S. I didn't proofread this comment, sp please excuse any obvious errors.)

Tiffany said...

I think the other mom should have made her child share his toys. My little girl just turned two and we had a big party, at first she was did not want to share some of her toys but I gave her favorite toy and then gave the other toy to the other child and told my daughter that she has to share. If you don't start teaching them young they won't learn.

Heather Ann said...

I never expect my children to share their "special" toy - like their doll, or dog or bear.

If we brought toys to the park or the doctor or a playgroup I would expect that we would share them - except for the "special" toy. And, I would make no bones about the fact that that was a special toy and we would not be sharing it. When other kids come in to our doctor's office clutching a bear or Elmo etc. I always tell my children not to expect to touch it or see it.

Sharing is hard, but putting all your wonderful toys out on the floor and then saying, sorry, look but don't touch, they are mine, na na na na na....really sucks for the other kids and seems mean to me.

JamieLynn said...

I have fully expected my children to share from the beginning. If I don't show them how to share, they won't learn. So, if we take toys, we share toys... its as simple as that.

Bethany said...

Snick, I think you handled the situation exactly right. I think Timothy's mom probably missed a teachable moment and could have encouraged or at least asked her son to share a couple of his toys, but I wouldn't take it personally. As others have said, she knows her kid and how he might react, and maybe she was just trying to keep it a pleasant day for everyone. :-)

With our daughter, rather than insist she share, we've tried hard to *model* sharing and other things like good manners as much as possible. And from a very early age, when she would share a bite of her food or a toy with someone, we'd immediately praise her in a specific way ("You're so generous to share a bite of applesauce with Daddy! What a kind girl you are!" and so on). By the time she was 2.5, she was usually pretty willing to share snacks or toys, unless someone tried to take them from her forcibly. And I can't say I have blamed her in those circumstances!

Rachel said...

I'm glad to hear that you had an enjoyable Mother's Day.

I am big on the sharing thing, but I have 3 girls, so I have to be. 2.5 is definitely old enough to understand sharing. I think alot of times, adults underestimate what kids can and cannot understand. Of course my 16 month old doesn't understand it, but a two-year old does. I think you made the right decision to just take your girls and go into another room.

Anonymous said...

She should have made him share at least two, giving him the choice which toys they twins could play with. Yes, sharing is really no fun, but it is a lesson worth teaching from the get-go. The 2.5 year old shouldn't have been the decision-maker here, unless it was one special toy he had brought from home for security.