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Why does my child hate sharing his things?

Q: My son is three and a half years old. He does not share any of his things with children visiting our home. He might give the toys for a while but then he wants them back. He will start crying or fighting, when they touch any of his things. Same is the case if he visits another house. He wants everything there and will not let the children in that house play with their own things. He cannot tolerate that the other child has something, which he does not have. We tried sweet-talking to him and tried punishing him. What can we do to correct this? Is this some kind of behaviour issue which needs medical attention?

A:He needs parental attention and time, so that he is assured that he can be happy even when he is sharing things and when he does not own everything he wants. But this takes time and patience. When children are playing together, they will settle the problems themselves. Be around to see that there is no violence or hurt, but let him have a chance to feel frustrated and to cry. He will learn that he cannot always have his own way. Most children outgrow this phase as they start attending school and find that many things are shared.

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