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Why didn’t anyone tell me that two year olds believe the world revolves around them?

The classic "Toddlers Creed" offers great insight into the mind of a two year old. They have trouble sharing anything that interests them, believe they are the center of the world, and assume everyone thinks and feels like they do.

A Toddler’s motto is “me,” “I want,” and “I can.” These are all signs of healthy development. Sharing is a learned activity that takes time, patience and a lot of practice. Your child needs to learn about “owning” things before he can learn to share his possessions.

What you can do to help teach your child about sharing.

  • Try not to get angry when your toddler refuses to share, this is normal behavior for a two year old. Gently explain "we take turns and share things" but don’t engage in a big power struggle over typical two year old behavior. If your child refuses to share a toy, let her know that you are disappointed and hope she will be willing to share next time.
  • Practice taking turns at home with your child. "You can go first and then it’s my turn."
  • Share your possessions with your child. Teaching by example is one of the best ways for children to learn new behaviors. "Would you like to share my strawberries?" Let your child see you sharing things with other family members.
  • If your child is being possessive over a toy, sometimes it helps to reassure them that the other child is just looking at the toy and will give it back.
  • Try to have a lot of toys available on play-dates and let your child choose a few specials toys to put away before friends arrive.
  • Praise your child when they share and point out times when other friends share their toys. "Joey is sharing his truck with you."
  • Remember with gentle teaching and patience this phase will pass.

  • The Toddler’s Creed

    If I want it, it’s mine.
    If I give it to you and I change my mind later, it’s mine.
    If I can take it away from you, it’s mine.
    If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
    If it’s mine, it will never belong to anybody else, no matter what.
    If we are building something together, all the pieces are mine.
    If it looks like mine, it is mine.” Anon

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