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me, mine and not yours

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Well, I guess I should be thankful that at least her vocabulary is expanding.
This week marks a new milestone for our little Maddie.
She's got a real good case of the 'me, mine and not yours!'
And she applies it liberally.
She told Nick this week that his chair was hers...
When he graciously moved, she then claimed his new chair was hers as well.
We fixed that one.
She has staked out what she thinks are the best dolls in the girls' room and tries to take Alek's juice packets away from him claiming all the while, 'mine, no you, me mine!'
That one doesn't go over too well either.
Here's a question for you...
What is the typical age for this stage? I honestly can't remember.
I imagine while it's a little late developmentally, it may be that she got away with it quite a bit in the orphanage and is just now feeling comfortable enough at home to display the same behavior.
Or it could be that she's just reaching these lovely toddler milestone.
Either way it's going to end quickly.
Each one of the kids has had to learn the lesson...
We don't have 'mine' in this house.
Everything belongs to everyone and there will be no fighting over anything or mama throws it away. (Unless of course its an expensive item and then it just gets confiscated it for a verrrrry long time.)
And since her brothers and sister have already pretty much learned this lesson, I have a feeling Maddie will be spending some quality discipline time in the next few weeks.
Anyone have any surefire ideas?
I'm tired of the same old, same old.
Above: Maddie sits in time-out recently after learning a me, mine and not yours lesson at one of Alek's baseball games. (The wraps on her arms are for the removal of some mini-warts...don't worry she's doing just fine. It's something she brought home with her from the orphanage...a whole other post, believe me!)

6 salty messages:

Lucky Mom July 4, 2008 at 8:40 AM  

No great advise...My 29 month old (adopted 2 months ago) has been going thru this for about a month...everything is MIIIIINNNNEEE (so she doesn't have as good a vocabulary as Maddie!) followed by a swat if I try (or succeed) in taking whatever she has recently claimed. We are doing some timeouts and it distracts her a little (smile)

Auntie G July 4, 2008 at 12:35 PM  

Do we outgrow this? I hate when my mom uses one of the three salad forks. Those are mine to use. LOL

Anonymous,  July 4, 2008 at 7:20 PM  

. Around two and a half to three is when many kids get bad cases of the "M-i-i-i-ne!!(s)". The concept of sharing is a hard one for young children to learn.

Since Maddie had nothing of her own at the orphanage before finding her forever family, the "Mines!" may be compounded by her background. Always having to share all the toys may bring back unhappy memories that she doesn't yet have the words to describe.

There's a lot to be said for having a few special things - dolls, Teddys, blankies, etc. - that belong to one child and one child alone. It might be something for your family to consider, along with having lots of shared possessions that everyone enjoys.

I have no problem with games, books, arts and crafts supplies and sports equipment being family property - but it's a bit different with dolls and stuffed toys.

If you are little, and constantly have to share all the family toys, it's hard to develop that sense of becoming especially close to or taking especially good care of a favorite toy - because your brothers or sisters may not share your feelings or your wishes, or may want the same toy for themselves. Therefore, a strong attachment to a particular toy (or a "transitional object" - I'd rather call it a Teddy or favorite doll! :-)) may not develop, as a sort of emotional protection against loss.

Toys with "personality" are great for developing imagination, nurturing instincts, and a sense of narrative in young children - and this is enhanced if such a toy belongs to one individual child (whom we hope may allow other children to gently play with their favorite once in a while, especiallly if they are asked nicely!).

Other positive scenarios that encourage creative sharing can include things like Teddy Bear picnics, with all the individually owned Teddys in the family joining together with their owners for an adventure, then going home ("at six o'clock, their mummies and daddies will take them home to bed, because they're tired little Teddy bears"[just had to include that ;-)]).

And of course, being recognized as a tired little Teddy bear who needs to go to sleep just may help his equally tired little owner to join him in slumberland...

If toys are everybody's in general, then they also are nobody's in particular, so no one has to care especially for them. I am sure you can see the parallels...

There's something very special about a child having a toy companion that's just theirs and no one else's. A favorite toy companion can share secrets, joys, and sorrows in a way that no one else can...

My old Teddy bear joined me on my first birthday - and while others could play with him, he was definitely mine and a cherished companion...and he has a place of honor in my heart (and in my home) still (even if he doesn't accompany me on many outings or picnics these days!)

Hope this helps shed some light on the "Mines!"

Best wishes,
Susan in Kentucky,
whose young cousins from Ukraine are visiting me in five days!

Tina in CT July 7, 2008 at 7:45 AM  

I never went through that with my daughter and she was an only child. I used to have to watch or she'd just give things away. Her childhood friend (youngest of 3) was very possessive and would say "mine" very strongly at times when Tami wanted to play with one of her beach toys. This was age 2 to 3.

I agree that each child should have their own special toys (dolls, stuffed animal, truck, book or whatever) but learn to share them with others. There are then the general family toys for all to play with too.

She never had her own personal toy so her behavior is completely normal I would think. She'll learn.

AdoptaMama July 7, 2008 at 2:32 PM  

I agree with a few others that kids should have some things to call their very own. Sure, they need to learn to share and there just doesn't need to be one of everything for everyone, but they need to have things to call their own before they can learn to share. Because of Maddie's time in the orphanage, I would assume that her "mine" time may be slightly delayed and may also be extended a bit beyond the typically time than that of a "home grown" kid.

Just curious, were Maddie's warts called "molluscum?" My older daughter had that when she came home from Russia three years ago. They got tons worse before they got better, but within about 6 months, all were completely gone.

Tami July 7, 2008 at 3:13 PM  

I guess I should have clarified this a bit better.
Yes, of course, Maddie does have some toys all her own. She has a whole toy box full of stuff that is just hers. It's not that we don't let the kids have their own stuff...we just don't let the kids use the word 'mine'. It's not polite. Even if the toy is 'hers' she should be willing to share it with everyone in the home...at any time.

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