MC#4: Do You Have Any Tips on Sharing?

My best friend Cassie from Two in Diapers and myself are teaming up with a FABULOUS group of moms to bring you this exciting NEW series about motherhood.
We are always wondering how other moms handle certain issues or dilemmas,
so each week we are going to tackle the questions of motherhood.

Next week we will discuss:
How do you teach your children to be thankful?

If you have some thoughts or advice on next week’s topic please email
We would love for you to be part of The Mom Connection!

 Now on to this week’s topic!

Siblings and sharing: Where do you draw the line between requiring sharing and allowing for personal space with certain toys?

Here is what a few of us had to say:

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Welcome! I’m Julie
over at Naptime Review. I am a mom of 2 wild, crazy and beautiful girls. My oldest is almost 4 and my baby just turned 1. This is how I handle siblings and sharing: 
I really struggle with how to handle this issue around our house. When my youngest turned 1 a few months ago, I really struggled with how I was going to handle sharing. My 3 year old basically hijacked all her toys and wouldn’t let her play with ANYTHING! At first, I continually took them away from the oldest then I thought, “This is crazy! The baby doesn’t care. She is happy playing with the packaging the toy came in.” However, I know as the baby gets older this issue will get worse so here is my plan of attack for future sharing dilemma.

1.Timed Sharing: Set a timer. When the timer goes off the child has to give back the desired object.

2.One Special Toy Off Limits: I would let the child pick 1 toy that is off limits–no sharing required. I think it is important for children to have their own space and not to worry about the other sibling taking over the toy. You could also mark “special” toys with stickers so everyone knows they are off limits.

3.Sharing jar: Every time the siblings share something without a fight or hassle, put a quarter or something in the jar.When it fills up both children can go to the store and pick a community toy for the house. Great way to encourage team work and having fun together!

4. Recognize and model sharing: Continually model aloud sharing such as sharing a piece of fruit or taking turns when playing board games. Also try to catch your children in the act of sharing and make sure to praise him or her.

I know the issue of sharing will always be a topic in our household. Especially, with 2 girls so close in age. I can hear it now, “Mom, It’s my turn to sit in the front seat.” “Mom, Alice took my new sweater!” “Mom, Averie took my boyfriend.” Oh boy! I am in trouble!

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Hi! I’m Cassie
from Two In Diapers, and I’m a mommy to three sweet babies, ages 4, 3, and 18 months. This is how I handle sharing between siblings:

Honestly? Not very consistently.

I’m SO looking forward to hearing what others have to say on this topic, because this is an issue that we struggle with around here! With three children that are just over three years apart in age range, it‘s very difficult to define which toys are “special” and which toys need to be shared. 

My three-year-old son Bentley is madly obsessed with cars… both the Disney Cars characters and just plain cars. Of course his little brother Grayson, 17 months, is now obsessed as well. Where do I draw the line when trying to decide whether to make Bentley share his cars and letting him keep his very favorite ones {the ones that never leave his hand - even during nap time} to himself? If I let the kids keep “their” toys to themselves, then poor little Grayson would have nothing to play with.

After struggling with this issue regularly and feeling very inconsistent with the way that I deal with sharing, we’ve mostly resorted to just making them share. But since I really fear that this will give them space issues with their things, we are now trying to switch over to the timer method. Five minutes and then you pass it to your brother/sister. I’m not sure if this is the best way to handle it, but they usually get bored of the time after a couple rounds each, which lets us move on from the situation.

{I should make a note that the extra special items – Bentley’s stuffed dog, Grayson’s monkey, etc. – are not shared}

So I suppose my answer is – get a timer and please give ME some advice! 

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My name is Julie
and I blog over at From Awkward To Art.
I am a mom of three kids. My son, Wesley will be 9 in a month. My daughter, Jada will be 7 in two weeks and my other daughter, Leila will be 4 in two months. Here’s how I handle siblings and sharing:

Each kid is so completely different from the next, that’s for sure. How we handle each kid actually differs and varies. Really, sometimes I don’t know if I am the right person to go to for MOM advice, because even though we do have specific rules in our house, and it’s not a complete free for all, each situation and child vary so much. So sometimes our ways of handling each may vary too.

Depending on if Jada is teasing Wesley, she tells on him for not sharing. But we know her well enough to know that she really doesn’t even want the toy, she really just wants to annoy him or get him in trouble and then laugh at him when he starts crying. Or if it pertains to the two girls, their toys are almost always shared. It just comes naturally because they play with the same toys, even if one toy belongs to one girl because it was a gift of some sort, it usually becomes a toy they both play with. When it comes to Wesley sharing, we let him keep most of his stuff to himself, or we tell him to hide it even. Because thing things he likes are expensive. Video games and controllers and such and the girls want to use them for pretend rocks to walk on as they make their way across a lake while they are pretend camping. They mess everything up, so we are understanding of Wesley not sharing particular things that belong to him. And with Leila, she is still at the “It’s mine” stage at times. Not all the time, but she will have her moments where no one can touch her doll because it’s mine, so I will intervene and it’s simple, none the “regular toys” in the house were purchased by them, so they are required to share…again IF the toy is actually something they want to play with, not just to demand that they get their way! It’s actually really exhausting. Haha.

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My name is Kristen from The Mrs. & The Momma.  I am a mom of four kids, ages 7 and under…three girls and a baby boy.  This is how I handle siblings and sharing:

With our four kids close in age, sharing is a HUGE part of family life.  Clothes, food, toys, mommy-time, you name it.    When there are arguments about a toy, I enforce the “who had it first” rule.  That person gets it (since they had it first), but then the “challenger” gets it after a specific time period.  It goes something like this, “Okay, you get it since you had it first, but your sister gets a turn in 10 minutes when the timer goes off.”  If it is something where more than one can play, we encourage our children to work/play together and actually share.  This method works fairly well with toys that are “community property.”

As for personal belongings in our household, if the child received it as a gift, it doesn’t matter who had it first.  The “owner” can decide to either put it up for the time being, play with one of the other sibling’s toys (like a swap), or no one plays with it at all since there was arguing (Momma takes it).  This teaches them to carefully consider which toys of their own they really care about….and the ones they REALLY care about are usually kept in a smart place.  And if a kid is playing with their own toy, there is no challenger (see above).

We try our best to teach respect, therefore, sharing is expected to go hand in hand with that.  Sharing is tough with kids, especially with littles who think everything is “MINE”…but loving consistency is key.

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Hi, I’m Debs from Learn with Play at home and I’m the mother of an almost 4 y/o and a 1 y/o. This is how I handle siblings and sharing:
Currently with one of our children unable to understand the concepts of sharing, fights over toys etc are something that we are yet to encounter. We did recently have our son’s first birthday though so it was an interesting time to see how our almost 4 y/o daughter would react over all her brother’s new toys!
I believe that there will always be (and should be) some special things/toys etc that each of my children will have that will be special and important to them. They each have a small toy chest at the bottom of their wardrobes where they can keep “their” special things that are just theirs to play with and decide whether they will share or not. I think having some ownership and sole responsibility over certain things is important for them, as is understanding that they must treat other’s belongings with the same consideration and respect that they would want for their belongings.
The majority of our toys are considered fair game and are “family” toys. I’m not sure exactly how things will go in the future with sharing but I intend to encourage them to share as much as possible. As far as I’m concerned, if they want to be able to use their siblings special toys then they need to be able to share their special toys too.
I look forward to hearing advice from other mum’s who’ve already had to be tackling these issues :)

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Your Turn:

 How do YOU handle siblings and sharing?
Do you have any tips or advice?
Leave us a comment.

Love to hear from you!


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  1. we try to split whatever it is they were fighting about…and letting the child who did split get the second pick…if that does;t work we set the timer.
    my youngest is 10 now, and so we rarely have issues like this anymore….the issues are just different!!!
    happy weekend.

  2. With my children, I think if they have something special they don’t want to share it has to be kept up unless they are playing alone. I taught my 11 year old daughter about sharing in a very unconventional way. She refused to let another little friend play with a favorite doll. I kept warning her and then the 2nd time, I gave the doll away. I had to do it once again over a little purse too. She had to GIVE the toy she was refusing to share to the friend who’s feelings she was hurting. It only 2 times of her PERMANENTLY LOOSING her stuff and she got the idea.. Never had a sharing problem again!

  3. This has been a real struggle with the boys (9 and 5) and their sister’s toys (11 month old in three days.) They have been wanting to play with her toys rather than their own, and they don’t let her gain the chance to play with them like they should.

    They’ll share their toys with each other all day long. However, Zeva can’t fight for her toys like they can with each other, and they take full advantage.

    We had to take all toys away from both of them maybe twice in their life for them to start sharing. (It was more of a punishment for us than them, but they didn’t know that.)

    Someone mentioned all kids are different, and that is so true. Finding out what is going to make each child listen is an art and a struggle, but once you have that ace in the whole it definitely makes a huge difference.

  4. Just like Kristin! Maybe it’s the number of kids, or their genders, lol, because I have 3 girls (6 and under) and then a baby boy too! We don’t force sharing, because that just makes them want things more. We encourage sharing by praising them when they do, and taking toys away when there is arguing. If they can’t work it out together, then Mom gets the toy. The owner of the toy usually gets the biggest say, but if they can’t be nice about it, Mom/Dad gets it for a day or two.

  5. This is such a sweet collaboration from you ladies! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us. And I appreciate all of your practical, hands on tips. Sharing is a definite struggle here, but I am really trying to teach the importance of this! Thanks for linking up with the #MTMmixer.

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