Before Zander was even born he started creating sharing problems for Zoey. I couldn’t shop out of the house much since I was so sick. I ordered pretty much all his baby stuff online. During my pregnancy I was constantly getting packages in the mail full of baby stuff. Zoey insisted that everything that came in the mail was for her – NOT ‘bee bee brudder’. She would force her body into tiny onesies and run around the house in them all day, refusing to take them off, and she would try and sleep in his baby bassinet and bouncer. I don’t blame her. For her entire three years of life all the baby stuff was hers. It is a big change, having a new sibling. But sharing is an important lesson for kids to learn, so I always encourage it. It has been a slow process, we are getting there.
Zoey has started to realize that most of Zander’s clothes and baby gear are boring, and she would rather play with her own things. But she still has a really hard time sharing toys with him. Even his own toys. She also struggles sharing dishes. Since Christmas is around the corner and there are going to be a lot of moments to test my kids sharing ablities, I decided to get a head start and up my ‘teaching the kids to share’ game. With the help of google I came up with some ways to help them learn about sharing and it has been going quite well.
The first thing I did was buy some adorable Name Bubbles. They are customizable name labels for your kids things. They work on everything from sippy cups, to backpacks, clothing and even some toys. You can design Name Bubbles however you want. Colors, designs and text can all be easily designed to your taste in just a few clicks. I got clothes labels, dishwasher safe labels for their sippy cups and some tags to attach to backpacks.
I also tried some other things to help my kids learn sharing skills. For example I started setting a timer for sharing toys. Zander has no idea what is going on with the timer, but for Zoey it really works. I tell her she gets five minutes and then she has to give him five minutes. Usually after a couple switches she gets distracted and moves on to something else. Which is nice because I don’t like being the toy referee all the time.
Another thing I am going to try a few times is buying them the exact same toys when possible, so they each have their own. We will have to wait till Christmas morning to see how well this works. I did this with new blankets the other day. I just needed one for Zander, but decided to get one for Zoey as well. She was SO excited to have a matching blanket, so that was definitely a win.
Of all the things I have tried, the Name Bubbles definitely have been the most fun and effective. Zoey knows what her labels look like, and what Zander’s look like. And she puts her labels on literally everything of hers that she can! It is almost like a game for her. The Name Bubbles have the added benefit of helping me stay more organized. Sometimes I can’t remember which cup has formula and which has Zoey’s juice. The labels save me a second unscrewing the lids. It also helps things that we accidentally leave at friends houses make their way back to us. My kids don’t have allergies, but I noticed they have labels for allergies as well, which is so great for kids with allergies who attend school.
Since the Name Bubbles worked so well I got a ton of extra ones to put on the kids presents after they open them. Zoey is so excited for Christmas, I think she might burst. I know she is going to have a blast helping me label all of hers and Zander’s new clothes and toys on Christmas morning… And I am really hoping it will help her share. I got Zander a few toys that I know Zoey will like too. It is going to take a lot of willpower for her to not snatch them away while he is playing. Crossing my fingers we make it through Christmas morning without any toddler drama!!
Do your kids have a hard time sharing? What do you do that helps?
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