Mine

From Friday Mom – Erin:
After a great many months of being told that he needs to assert himself with his words, rather than just react emotionally, Rory has entered into what I am politely calling his “mine” phase. In some ways, this is a positive development. He’s had a tendency to react with tears and screams when his friends at daycare take a toy that he is playing with. Now, he fights back a bit more with a firm declaration of “mine.”

I’d seen signs of this new assertiveness brewing, but I saw it in full force for the first time when I dropped him off at daycare yesterday morning. His teacher had a variety of puzzles set up for the class, and Rory quickly took to playing with a farm animal puzzle. When one of his good friends arrived, his friend promptly started playing with the same puzzle. Rory grabbed for the puzzle piece, collected it firmly in a cross-chest embrace, and walked away from the table exclaiming, “Mine. mine!” While the other child’s mom encouraged his friend to share, I gently explained to Rory that the puzzle belonged to the daycare, that he could continue playing with it, but that he should also be certain to give his buddy a turn at some point as well.  I also made certain to point out the range of other puzzles available on the table, and explained to him that if he walks away from the table trying to hoard the puzzle pieces, he should probably expect that one of his classmates might be using the other pieces when he gets back.

That was all, obviously, a lot for an almost two-year old to absorb. Especially when we’ve been telling him to use his words rather than cry. However, now that he’s found a word to use, we’re trying to help him understand how best to use that language without emulating the same aggressive behavior we’ve been trying to help him overcome. It’s all part of learning how to communicate and interact with others, something he has generally been pretty laid back about. In that respect, I’m sure this will be another short-lived stage, and that he and his friends will figure out a way to resolve their differences.

That being said, I am admittedly nervous about the timing of this new tendency given that his little sister due to arrive over the course of the next month. I’m hopeful that we’ve figured out how to help him deal with this possessive streak before she starts stealing his toys away from him. Luckily, I think we will have a few months of newborn immobility before that starts happening.

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