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My 12-month-old daughter is too possessive with her toys. She is an only child, but we recently moved in with my mother, where my brother’s girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter also lives. When the older girl tries to play, my daughter takes her toys every time. She doesn’t listen to “no” and she throws a tantrum if I try to give the toy back to the other girl. What can I do? Should I just let her do this until she’s older? How long until my daughter outgrows this?
Your daughter will outgrow this when you make her stop doing it. We’ve all met self-centered, greedy adults who never outgrew the “mine, mine, mine” stage. As such, there is no guarantee your daughter will learn to share unless she is made to do so.
You said she throws a tantrum when you try to take the toys away. The key word here is “try.” Kids throw tantrums because they believe the world revolves around them, and they don’t really have any better way to tell you that they are upset that the world is not proceeding on its proper course. But as the mother, it’s your job to make your “no” stick.
Telling a child she cannot do something and then allowing her to do it after she screams teaches the child that your “no” actually means, “I’d rather you not do this, but if you make enough noise I’ll give you what you want just to shut you up.” Children as young as 12 months can pick up on this.
Next time the girl steals a toy, take it away and give it back to the other girl. Regardless of how loud she screams, make it clear she will not be playing with that toy. If she continues to scream, let her. Tell her “no,” and mean it.
Be consistent with the actions, and the conduct should change over time. You can’t just do this once and expect your daughter to see the error of her ways. Discipline is a product of time and persistence, and your daughter is not too young to begin the process of developing that discipline. But she will not learn it on her own – it is your job to instill that discipline.
A bunch of friends (boys and girls) from school are going camping in two weeks, and I really want to go. My dad is kind of strict and worries about me, though last weekend he allowed me to go to a party and have a drink. I couldn’t stay till closing time (12 a.m.) but it’s a start. This isn’t going to be an orgy, and my mother is fine with it. I’m 16, and my friends are all 16 or 17. How can I convince my father to let me go?
The best way to convince your father to allow you to go camping with a group of friends including the opposite sex is to offer to bring him along to chaperone. I suspect your friends wouldn’t like that, and if your father is smart, nothing short of that will convince him.
You say the campout isn’t going to be an orgy. Perhaps you’re right, but the combination of teen-age hormones, alcohol, and a remote location with no adult supervision has a tendency to change people’s plans on the fly. Your father is wise to be concerned about you.
If it’s that important for you to go camping with your friends, try a girls-only gathering. Your father (and a lot of other fathers) might be more willing to go along with it. And if the idea of a camping trip with only other girls along doesn’t appeal to you, then you should reconsider your motives for the original trip.
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