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    Siblings: when yours (singular) becomes yours (plural)

    G asked S a good (and sad) question the other day: ‘why is the kitchen not mine anymore?’

    You see, G’s play kitchen was a birthday gift for him. It’s been a staple in our home getting love at least weekly from him, and now daily from S2. When  G plays with his trains we keep S2 out of trouble by redirecting him to the kitchen. This peanut loves everything about it too (best $139 spent as far as I’m concerned. Thanx, IKEA!), so it’s no surprise that we catch ourselves saying things to him like ‘Why don’t you go play with your kitchen?’ as opposed to ‘Why don’t you go play with your brothers’ kitchen?’

    And today as I was pulling some toys out of the garage for S2 that belonged to G, G was quick to point out they were his. Auntie S got G a wonderful pull-alligator for his first Christmas. We call him ‘Chomps’. Clearly G has outgrown this toy, ignores it otherwise, but it WAS gifted to him.

    So I’m feeling a little stuck. It’s one thing for toys he’s received over time to become shared toys. But those received for special occasions: where do we draw the line at what can be passed on?

    We don’t have the money or environmental callous to get 2 of each toy. It’s just not practical. Especially things that come and go in phases. So I’m feeling a bit stuck.

    I don’t want G to NOT form any attachment to his things, thinking that at some point they will be taken away from him. I want him to WANT to share them with his brother, but for things that were purchased as a gift for him, quite honestly, I want him to feel like he CAN deny sharing.

    Hence my conundrum. What’s appropriate here?

    3 responses to “Siblings: when yours (singular) becomes yours (plural)”

    1. libby08 says:

      In our house JLK only has 2 toys that are hers…Jonathan only 1 (but he can claim another if he wants). Everything else is ours.

    2. Grammie says:

      I would change the instructions to say Go Play with the Kitchen or go play with the alligator not yours or G’s. That way if can say yes it is yours G but S can play with it

    3. Mrs. Ziggy says:

      Things that were gifts Andrew has an amazing ability to remember were specifically given him and he has the same responses. If they are things that he really no longer plays with I usually talk to him about it before “giving” it to Cooper. We talk about how much he loved is and who gave it to him and why, then we talk about how he outgrew it/stopped playing with it because he got older/moved on to other toys ect and doesn’t he think Cooper would really have fun playing with it now? ( kind of trying to make it his idea, get his buy in on it). Most of the time this works and he gets excited about his “giving” it to Cooper.
      When it doesn’t work and he gets upset about the toy then I ask him if he’d like to have some time to play with it a little bit more before we give it to brother. Then we tell Cooper how it’s a special toy that XYZ gave to brother for his birthday/christmas and that right now it’s going to be just for brother but after a little while that Andrew will share with him or even decide to give it to him.
      The vast majority of the time one of these methods will work and we’re able to deal with things and move on. Of course sometimes everything you try is a big ol fail so then depending on Andrew’s attitude he either gets to “keep” it, which usually lasts a short time and then he’s sharing it or has forgotten about it anyway or he’s simply told that he’s not being very nice and that there is no reason why they can’t both play with it.

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