Getting my son to share!
My son is having a very hard time dealing with sharing his toys. He constantly tries to fight his brother if he has a toy he wants. He's only two years old and I already have witnessed him getting very angry. He yells at his brother and tells him to shut up. He will throw things at him, bite or scratch him. His brother is four. I don't know how to get him to calm down and play nicely. When I try to get him settled he lays in the middle of the floor and stops speaking to everyone.
He's a very bright boy! He speaks complete sentences, can count to 20 and knows is alphabets. However, he doesn't like for anyone to bother his stuff. How do I get him to share and play nice? I really need help. :(
Your 2 year old sounds like a very bright boy! He understands how to manipulate situations to get what he wants.
2 year olds love to test their boundaries, yet they do not like feeling out of control. When your son gets angry, bites, scratches and throws things, he is out of control. This is when you can step in and let him know that you are in control which he will actually appreciate.
I worked in a preschool for 6 years, and one of the things we used to do with the 2 year olds would be to get right down at their level, get their attention (eye to eye) and say, "I will not let you do that. That's not okay." You say this in a stern voice, not a soft voice. They need to know that you are stopping this right now, and you won't let it continue.
Once your son has stopped, you can then take the 4 year old in your arms and (ignoring the 2 year old) say, "I'm so sorry that happened to you. I know that hurt." The point is that you're showing the injured child that you're really sorry for what happened and you're giving him all the love, while the child who did the harm sees that when he acts this way, he has to miss out on the love.
You can then have your 2 year old apologize to the 4 year old AND give him a hug. You may want to prep the 4 year old to receive a hug, but your 2 year old SHOULD be very willing to give a hug. Most are.
So it looks like this…
2 year old bites, throws things, hits, says something mean.
You step in and tell him you will not let him do that.
4 year old gets love and sympathy
2 year old is instructed to say "I'm sorry" and to give a hug.
2 year old gives 4 year old a hug and 4 year old hugs back.
That's usually all that's needed and they can go on playing nicely together.
You will need to be consistent in doing this. You will also want to keep an ear out for any arguing or indications that things are escalating and step in before the 2 year old gets to a point of hurting the 4 year old.
You can also separate the children if needed.
You can't expect a 2 year old to share his toys at this age. It's a learning process. But you can expect him to treat others kindly and you can step in and correct him when you see him taking something that your 4 year old was playing with.
Please let me know if this gives you some ideas or if you need more ideas.
Thank you so much for your helpful suggestions. I'm definitely going to try these four steps. Fortunately, they do give each other hugs and say I love you. Therefore, I don't anticipate a problem getting him to say sorry to his brother. I also agree that he's not at an age where he has to share as of yet. However, I just wish he didn't get violent abut it. Hopefully, this will help change his habits around. Again, thanks for your helpful suggestions.
I'm glad you found the suggestions helpful. Have you tried any of them and how did they work?
If they're not working well then I can give you some other ideas.