Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Turn, Your Turn

No need for lengthy explanations on the virtues of sharing. These few simple words will help your baby understand the concept of taking turns.

When I ran weekly parent-child playgroups, the single Little Tikes slide was a huge draw. A throng of impatient toddlers would push and claw their way to the little plastic stairs. All it took to calm the crowd was a basic repetitive announcement:

Sara’s turn

Charlie’s turn

Mia’s turn

If one little trailblazer still tried to push his way to the front of the line, all it took was a pair of adult hands on his shoulders providing gentle resistance and a repeat of the turn taker's name. Soon all the toddlers got into the excitement of waiting for their turn and would gleefully chant whose turn it was.

This technique can be used with your baby during everyday tasks. Grabbing for the toothbrush or wanting to do things by themselves can be tempered by announcing turns and keeping them brief. It’s amazing how quickly children learn the concept, and how little they fuss as they wait because they understand that after her turn, it will be “my” turn.

Once children begin to come together at playgroups and playgrounds and they ultimately struggle for control of a toy, parents can be caught off guard and feel a little unprepared for toddler aggression.

Armed with this simple phrase (my turn, your turn), you can be the parent who steps in to save the day!

Photo Credit: Janis Gonser
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  1. Hi There...Would love to follow!

    My link is:

    Thanks! ; )

  2. such a great post! i agree completely. it's amazing how much earlier my second child has learned "taking turns" because there were now 2 kids in the house and we were dealing w/ it on a daily basis.
    Thanks for the post on my blog btw : )

  3. Apparently I need to start posting my blog address whenever I follow someone. I don't know why it doesn't show up when you click my name! Obnoxious...LOL!

  4. I agree, need to learn how to take turns.

    Thanks for following my blog and your great advice.

  5. Great advice!

    I'm following you from the MBC Under 100 Club. I'm looking forward to reading more!

  6. Good advice here, I used many of these techniques on my son myself, thanks for becoming a follower of the cafe, , returning the favor!

  7. I am just getting to the point where I need this kind of advice. Thanks so much. I can't wait to read more.
    Thanks clueless mama

  8. Thanks for stopping by my place. Clearly, we could use a few lessons in sharing and turn taking at Casa de Dummies. Somehow, the "his turn, your turn" strategy hasn't caught on as we hoped with #3 as it generally results in him screaming (not crying, just SCREAMING) through the other person's turn. Apparently, he's discovered that this strategy works to ensure that his turn comes around again VERY quickly. Smart baby. Maybe a little too smart:)

  9. Hi there , thanks for visiting the blog!
    I love your posts.....I am planing on having a section for guests posts and will love to have you as a guest some time.
    Have a great day:)

  10. You have such a lovely blog! So I decided to give you an award! Go to my blog to pick it up!

  11. With a 15 month old and 28 month old, this is among the top things we have to reinforce every day. They have a harder time sharing with each other than with other kids, but my husband and I try to point out to them whenever we're taking turns with something--everything from passing the ketchup bottle to waiting our turn in traffic. Since they look up to us, these reminders seem to sink in pretty well.