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Why Is My Toddler So Possessive Over Toys? (Reason & Solution)

why toddlers are possessive over toys

Well, it is common for toddlers to get possessive about their toys, favourite or not, and do not want to share them with anybody else. According to developmental psychologists, toddlers aged between 2 and 3 years (and possibly older) believe that the person who owns anything for the first time is the rightful owner of it. Their possessive behaviour can help you learn more about their growing mind. Usually, at this little age, something called a “sense of me” is developing in toddlers which is quite normal.

Dr. Gelman, a well-known developmental psychologist at the University of Louisville carried out an experiment on 2 to 3 years old kids where he offered identical toys to kids and told them which one belonged to them and which didn’t. After being allowed to play with the toys for a while, the toys were shuffled around and offered to kids again. The results were amazing, the kids only chose those toys that belonged to them before they were shuffled around.

What Actions You Must Take On Their Possessive Nature

Why is my toddler so possessive over toys?

The possessive nature of toddlers for toys can be a bit frustrating in daily life. According to psychologists, it is the learning phase of toddlers and parents must help them learn about the rules of sharing and ownership. Gently reinforce which toys belong to them and which don’t.

One strategy to avoid conflict is to put away your child’s favorite toys when you have others over for playdate.

It is part of human nature that nobody wants to share his personal things with a stranger visiting your house. As long as your kid is socially engaging with you and others, it is quite normal that he or she will not want to share their toys .

For some parents, the possessive behavior of toddlers is like a headache and they want their kids to get over it and force them to share their toys.

Apart from toys, toddlers can get possessive over people as well. For example, if you play with their siblings in front of them, they might not allow you to do that. This is something totally natural and you can minimize this behavior by inviting him to play with you.

It is obvious that toddlers do not love sharing their toys at a young age. But the reality is different as they get older. Studies show that as your kid gets older, he or she loves sharing toys with other kids to make them feel happy. By the time, toddlers develop a more complex behavior and the meaning of ownership changes at this point. If someone else is playing with his stuffed toy, he admits that it still belongs to him, but another person can play with it.

Advice For Parents

For example, if you have two kids and one of them is playing with his toy and the other isn’t, then the other one comes and grabs the toys from the first one. It is obvious that the first one will try to grab his toy back.

This is the time where you as a parent have to play your role in gently showing them about caring for each other. You should give the toy back to the first child and ask the other child to wait for his turn to play once your first kid ends playing with it or ask if they may play with it.

Everyone in the world has special things that they don’t want to share with other people. But this “sense of ownership” is more in toddlers as compared to adults. So as a parent, you must respect your kid’s sense of ownership. So next time if you are inviting other kids to play with your toddlers, you can keep away the things he or she doesn’t want to share with anyone else.

Possession and sharing are quite complex behaviours that are beyond the thinking power of toddlers. As time passes, this behaviour will turn into caring and sharing for other kids.

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