Over the last five months or so I have been working in a Toddler classroom. I previously only had experiences with Toddlers in a college placement when I was completing my Early Childhood Education diploma. So I have been looking to the wonderful women that I work with as well as books, articles, and any other resource I can find to help me better understand this Toddler world.
I read an interesting article entitled: “The S Word: Toddlers Learning to Share“
The article mentioned how toddlers do not understand the concept of “share” and how parents use that word ALL THE TIME. “Toddlers want what they see, and that object becomes “theirs.” “Mine” can mean either: I see it, I want it, or I’m using it. ” the article says, and working with toddlers (and anyone who has or worked with toddlers) knows this statement is very true.
The article talks about how the giving and taking of toys is a social gesture amongst infant and toddlers and sometimes looks worse to parents and other adults if children are having things taken from them or other children will not let anyone play with a toy or item they have. Like the article says no parent wants to see their child “not sharing.”
I loved how they talked about how an adult should only intervene in these situation if children start to hit and fight. They suggest parents or caregivers “sportscast” instead. The article says sportscast “means to acknowledge the interactions of the children in a matter-of-fact way, never implying blame. Children often calm down when they feel that an adult understands. We might say, for example: “Rex, you were holding the car, and now Sophie has it.” Or, “You and Sophie both want that toy.””
I read another article that suggested using the term “turn taking” instead of sharing because children can understand “I get this toy for a little bit, and then you get this toy for a little bit.” This article does give some good ways to incorporate “sharing” just like the above example. Acknowledging what is going on between the children so they learn from those experiences.
I agree with the article that Toddlers (and infants) can be a different world, this is the stage they grow so much and are learning how to interact, find their words, how to stay on their feet and move around. There is SO much growth in that period and as an ECE you have to remember that they are just learning.
Until Next Time