Post by Jessica R.
I gave my children a new toy this weekend without thinking the process out all the way. I assumed, since the toy was geared to older kids, that the preschooler would play with it for a second and then let her older sister enjoy it undisturbed. I did not anticipate that both girls would fall in love with the device and squabble over it all weekend.
After the third anguished scream I stepped in and put the toy in time out.
“This is going to stay here on this shelf until the two of you can figure out how to play nicely with it.”
Then I walked away.
I’m a huge believer in letting them sort out their differences without intervening. I listen carefully to make sure no one is hurting anyone, but for the most part I let them work through their differences on their own. This usually works out perfectly, unless there is a highly coveted toy in the offing, in which case the frustrated cries often turn to pained cries.
The toy didn’t stay on the shelf for more than a few minutes before they came running to me with a carefully worked out sharing plan detailing the amount of time each one would get to play with the toy before having to hand it off to her sister. Harmony was restored and, much to their delight, I took the toy out of time out.