Q: How can I avoid the inevitable toy tug-of-war during play dates?
A: Toddlers are particularly prone to play-date struggles over toys, as their world is very self-centric and they do not quite grasp the idea of sharing.  Keep in mind that this is completely normal and does not mean that you have a selfish child.  Before the play-date you might ask your child if there are any special toys that she/he does not want to share with friends and then put them out of sight for the duration.  You can model sharing with your children by asking if they would like a turn with a particular item or toy, and demonstrating how to ask for a chance to play with a particular item.  Should a struggle arise, be sure to correct the behavior and not the child, to keep a positive sense of self-esteem and to acknowledge the action.  Also make an extra effort to point out when sharing happens naturally and reinforce positive actions.

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Nancy Massotto is the Founder and Director of the Holistic Moms Network, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Nancy has a passion for living holistic and works to help parents connect, learn and support one another on their journeys through parenting and holistic living. Find more information about Nancy on her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.