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Avatar universal

teaching to share

My son lately has not been good about sharing, esp in the pool with his toys.  I would like suggestions on how to better deal with this.

He is six and he has sensory processing disorder.  Someone suggested you make him do it and if he throws a fit then he throws a fit, but I'm not sure that is the best way.  

Thanks everyone!!
6 Responses
189897 tn?1441126518
  Can't wait to see others posts on this.  Somehow I don't think that making him share - is sharing.   Its very possible that he sees his toys as a safety net.  Something he is familiar with.  Why would he want to give that up.  In fact, I wonder if he ever wants other kids toys?  And I am not so sure that for 6 year old boys, that sharing is something they do anyway.   I would say to just have a lot of toys available so that sharing is not an issue.  As he gets older, this is something that can be worked on.  In a few more years check out, "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein for a very different look at sharing.
134578 tn?1602101550
I agree with Sandman, though I'm not probably in the best position to because my son just clouted a little girl on the head with a toy boat in the pool last week.  

I'd take to heart that objects can mean security for anyone, but especially for a child, and try to address it in a way respectful of that need.  Certainly don't force it.  Talk to him in advance of the event, be sure he has one fave with him and is promised he does not have to share that, and bring other toys also, so there are a lot of choices.  If a pulling match happens with the toy you have promised he may hold on to, stop the situation and take him away from the arena for a few minutes (with toy).  

I think in general adults force 'sharing' earlier than kids are ready to part with security objects.  The adults see it as a fair-play lesson when the children are still seeing the object as an integral part of themself or of the protective structure they have built  up in their mind for dealing with the world.  Give it a little time, give him support so the grab-fights don't happen as much, maybe that will help.
Avatar universal
I'm sorry but I dont really agree with either of you.
I think that by 6 a child should be sharing.  
We have a pool as well, so when it comes to pool noodles we have plenty, but we have other items that the chilren need to share with one another.  I think that sharing also promotes good social skills in dealing with others.  I do think that kids dont always want to share, and I'm all for the "He had it 1st rule" but there are times when I do make them share.  That is when kids use their imaginations to play with 1 item together.  Or when required (if I bring out a toy and everyone wants it" I will put a time limit on it so everyone gets a fair shot at playing with it.  
At school, the promte sharing with others, and sharing is part of everyday adult life, why not get them started young, to avoid any issues later.

You said he has a Sensory disorder... is shaing or not wanting to share a common trait of this?  If so then perhaps the above wouldnt work, and maybe you have to do something ore specific.

Just my thought.
13167 tn?1327194124
benjimom,  is this your pool,  and your invited guests,  or is this a public pool and he's being asked to share with strangers?

Some kids share really well and some just kind of get panicky if they don't have control.

If it's your pool,  I think you should have two bins - your son's toys that he currently has,  and this year buy some really cool new ones that belong "to the pool",  and anyone can use them like if you were in a public park on the swings.  Anyone can use the swings.  

On the other hand in my experience forcing kids to share their stuff doesn't change them one iota,  they don't become generous laid back kids,  they just are forced.  Like forcing adults to share their wealth.  Some give generously and willingly,  and others it's like pulling teeth to get them to donate 5 bucks.    It's personality.
973741 tn?1342342773
Hi.  Well, as a mom of a sensory kid myself, I will tell you that some of the things that come naturally to some kids do not come naturally to other kids.  And sharing is part of being a good friend and social interaction.  Sensory kids don't handle things the way other "typical" kids do.  

I would never force the subject while out and in public.  That will lead to a meltdown and at 6----- your goal is to have your child blend in for self esteem issues rather than stand out.  So no, don't force him to share if at a public pool for example.  We have the same issue often with my son.  And I would not make a scene at the pool and force him into a situation that creates "fight or flight" which sensory kids are known for.

However, a child needs to be able to share some things.  We have what we call our "special" toys at home.  If we have kids over-------- we put these away.  It is okay to have a few special things you don't want to share.  But you can't dangle them out in front of other kids and say "this is mine!".  So it is either put away or you have to share.

With everything else, we have worked on sharing as a family.  I make him give me the toy he has sometimes during part of our play as "my turn" or his little brother will get a turn. But the thing is, he gets something else in return.  So as his mom------- if you are going to the pool--------- bring a few toys.  If he has a friend or just another child wants it, then you can say "he can have a turn while you play with X".  And if you've practiced this at home, it will go better.  Another thing to do is to get right in that pool with him and the other kid and start a game using the object.  For example, if he has a cool 'torpedo' for the pool . . . they can shoot it back and forth to one another.  And with you as part of the game and supervising it can turn into a social interaction teaching lesson.  
We address our son's social skills as a whole because we know he needs these to have the friends he wants.  Very very common for a sensory child to be completely inflexible in their play.  They want to play what they want to play with the toy they want, the character they want to be and there are no ifs, ands or buts about it.  Well, that is not condusive to having friends.  So, you have to help him slowly adapt to being more flexible and to be fair to his friends.  
As you've recently started OT, you are probably addressing some of the basics of sensory.  I think something that you can mention to your OT is that you'd like an improvement in peer interaction.  They work on this with a child.  In fact, our gym time in OT, the therapist acts like another 6 year old and forces my son to share, take turns, let her have a say in what the play, get to be the best character in the game (he wants to be "woverine" . . .she'll say she wants to be and then they have to "work it out" just as two kids would.).  
We recently had a play date and the other boy wanted to play "harry potter" which my boys haven't seen.  My son was close to throwing a fit about 5 times because he wanted to play something else and didn't get "harry potter" and he had to be some off character and couldn't be harry, blah blah blah.  Well, I kept telling my son that it was his friend's turn to pick and to give it a try.  Once they got going, they played that game for a couple of hours!!  Total success for my boy.  It helped him understand that if he listens to his friends ideas and is open minded, that he may find new things fun.  I can't tell you what a raging success that was for my boy!!!  Sensory kids can be rigid beyond belief and getting them out of that is something to work on.  Sharing toys is part of it.  But work on it seperate from the pool at first.  Good luck!
Avatar universal
Thanks everyone!! This other child was there at the pool and she kept asking over and over again for my son's boats, he is very possessive of his boats!!  Her grandfather was sitting there too and then they went back to their chairs and I could hear him saying my son was selfish. I wish people would keep their judgements to themselves. I did not want to start anything in the pool area.  But I will use all your advice and work on it, etc.  
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189897 tn?1441126518
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