Out of curiosity, I decided to google ‘toddler etiquette’. It came up with thousands of websites with ways to teach your toddler manners… (Hahaha no, seriously?) What prompted me to google this was a conversation I had with a lovely friend about our toddlers and sharing. Her son is 6 months older than my Luca, and both of them are typical boys. They stomp their feet, they yell, they throw themselves at things, it’s cute. We love their boisterous attitudes. She has a beautiful friend with a beautiful daughter who also has this boisterous attitude. In fact, I’d say all toddlers are pretty boisterous… (Yeah I just learned this word today okay, so I’m gonna use it at least 2 more times…. Boisterous – 1 left).
If my son could string full sentences together, I have a feeling he would tell me that his desire to have every toy in the world, is strong, and it’s especially stronger when another kid has it. My toddler hasn’t mastered the art of etiquette you see, he just understands what he wants, and that he wants it now. If you are holding the barbie he discarded two hours ago, he suddenly remembers that barbie was his favourite toy and he wants it… NOW! He won’t ask you nicely for it, because he can’t exactly talk, he will snatch it right from your hand. This usually prompts me to say “no Luca, share…” Although I don’t mean it. You know why I don’t mean it? Because he doesn’t understand. He doesn’t understand the concept of share. I only say it for the other mothers’ benefit so they know that I’m caring for their child’s welfare too. Oh and I do care. I want your child to have equal playtime with a toy and have a great time, but I also understand that my child doesn’t understand…and he just wants us to understand that he wants this toy, NOW! Understand?
This also works in reverse too yeah? ( We call it parent etiquette) when another child takes a toy off Luca, and the mother of that child says “oh no Sampson (the name just came to me… Whatever) share”, I promptly say “no that’s okay, Luca needs to learn to share”. But again, I don’t mean it. I say it so I don’t look like I’m a psycho. I don’t care who snatches what off who. They’re playing, whatever.
Toddlers don’t share. They don’t know how. They are the perfect cavemen/women, they know the survival of the fittest is to get what ever they want as quickly as they can. It’s not etiquette but it’s life. I as an adult, don’t go up to someone and take their phone, and yell at them, “SHARE!!” And expect them to be okay with me pinching their phone. In fact I’d probably be greeted with a punch in the face. Just like a toddler might do to another kid should he steal his barbie.
So why I mentioned my beautiful friend earlier, and her beautiful friend, (I promise the “friend” isn’t secretly me) was because she has experienced the mother who does expect the beautiful friends child to share, and expects her almost 2 year old to fully understand and grasp that concept and be reprimanded if she doesn’t. I believe she even received a comment quite aggressively to the effect of “Lucy should not snatch, she should share, it’s toddler etiquette”
Are you Effen kidding me? We are all parenting to the best of our ability 24/7. We are trying to teach our little humans the way of the world but it’s tough too. Toddlers don’t share, and most adults don’t share, so don’t get so possessive over the small stuff and let them work it out themselves so we can all watch from a distance and drink our coffee and have some peace okay? It’s nothing personal and your child won’t miss out if another child doesn’t know how to share, I can promise you they will have forgotten about it in 5 minutes or when a new shinier toy comes into view. (if they start fist fighting then maybe you should break it up). All you can is redirect them and hope that when they do understand reason you can safely teach them to share then.
Yelling at another mother like she is incompetent because her child under 2 doesn’t understand the concept of sharing isn’t helpful. And we all need to help each other as parenting is tough enough as it is! We are all trying our best, so being boisterous about it ain’t fair!
Hopefully I don’t get wrestled for this, but it’s the Internet, you ain’t doing it right if you don’t offend at least one person right?
Thanks for reading.
If you like my stuff please comment on my Facebook page and like it. Hell, even invite your friends. Validate my existence. I neeeeeeed this.