Toddler's Possessive Phase Explained

Though your kid’s grabby meltdown doesn’t seem like her finest moment, it actually reflects how smart they're becoming.

“It suggests that she is grasping the abstract concept of a person’s invisible tie to a thing,” says Susan Gelman, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Toddlers are little, so their reasoning is simple: Research has found that children between ages 2 and 4 tend to believe that the person who possesses an object first is the rightful owner, even if someone else gets hold of it later. The argument “I had it first!” would carry serious legal weight in a toddler-led court of law. 

1. Explain the rules. 
2. Then Again: You don't always have to insist on sharing. 

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