My boys fight over toys. A lot. They fight over who is playing with what. Pirate tends to destroy whatever Professor is working on if he’s frustrated. There’s been all out brawling over a specific train, or a Spiderman figurine.
To deal with the fighting, we’ve had some toy rules pop up. These rules are mostly for my own sanity, and I like to think that they are teaching the kids to share. Somewhat.
Our toys have 3 basic rules:
- Take turns. The toy in demand has to have a turn with each person. If I find them fighting over a toy, I assign whose turn it is, set my ipod to a fun ring 5 minutes away, and then they switch.
- Time Out. If they can’t take turns, the toy goes into time out and no one plays with it. Period. For at least 10 minutes. If a toy gets put in a second time out, then it is in time out for the rest of the day. Sometimes several days if it’s just too hard for them to deal with.
- Special Toy. We have several toys that are uniquely “mine” and no one else is allowed to play with them without permission. (This really helps Butterfly.) Butterfly keeps her toys on her bed or in a box downstairs seperate from the rest of the toys. Her special toys right now are Lemon (a stuffed dog she sleeps with), Misty (the stuffed pony she got in Assateague), and her Littlest Pet Shop toys. Pirate’s special thing is his blankie. Sometimes he attaches himself to a train or two, but it doesn’t last too long. Blankie is his one, true love. And Pirate, well, he is my toy hoarder. He has a backpack that he carries around with him all the time and he fills it with special toys to him at the moment. Sometimes he pulls them out to play with them, sometimes he just wants to carry them around everywhere.
Since we’ve started with these rules, the fighting has calmed down a lot in our house. Although there is still a lot of fighting, but it’s a little more managable for me.
How do you handle the toy fights?