Why would a young toddler share anything? You never shared anything when you were Jimmy’s age either. Young kids want everything, they want it now, and they want it to themselves. Early on, don’t expect Jimmy to be gracious and offer to share toys, food, or his place on the coin-operated ride outside the supermarket. Not until the end of the second year does the concept of sharing and taking turns enter a child’s mind. Attempting to force the idea too early puts unnecessary pressure on both children and parents, and it may even have the opposite effect.
When a toy should be shared, don’t launch into a lengthy explanation about the appropriateness of sharing. Just say it once, and if Jimmy doesn’t relinquish the toy, take it away. If that creates havoc, you may want to take the toy away from all of the kids in the group to eliminate any competitiveness. And if Jimmy or any other kids rebel against your ruling by launching into inappropriate behaviors, use the boundary setting described in our comprehensive DISCIPLINE AND BOUNDARIES entry. If you follow this simple approach, I guarantee Jimmy will learn very soon to compromise.