Kids Fighting Over Toys? Here’s How To Get Your Kids To Stop Doing This

If you find your kids fighting over toys constantly, then you might want to consider a few things. Learn what do you do when two kids want the same toy. 

Kids fighting over toys isn't new. Discover ways you can help your kids get along better even when it comes to their belongings. Here's why preschoolers fighting is normal.
Learn ways to intervene when your kids are fighting over their toys.

Sharing toys might not be the easiest when your kids are small. Have you ever seen two toddlers arguing over the same toy car? 

It’s no surprise to hear kids fighting at home or fighting in the car. Sharing isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you have a favorite item.  

How Do I Get My Kids To Stop Fighting Over Toys?

Using everyday life situations can help your child learn about sharing with others. Reassuring your child of the importance of sharing is key to healthy friendships

According to the American Psychological Association, younger children have issues with sharing their things, especially their toys. Oftentimes, smaller kids are learning to use words to solve problems. 

They also want to control people and things in their lives. Although younger kids are known to fight over a toy, there are older children who continue to do this. 

This is often a result of not being able to properly handle past conflicts. It’s important that adults learn to de-escalate situations where they see kids fighting over toys. 

So, What Do You Do When Two Kids Fight Over A Toy?

There are various situations in which two (or more) kids will fight over a toy. Regardless of the cards that you’ve been dealt, it’s important to do the following to help you stay S.A.N.E.: 

Stay calm
Approach the kids
Never belittle their emotions
Entertain them with something else

There are times when your kids are arguing over a toy and it might be more of a control issue. Is it the older sibling fighting with their toddler brother or sister? 

In this case, it could be that the older child is concerned about the younger sibling breaking it. The situation can be handled by simply reminding the youngest of how important the toy is to their sibling. 

You can offer a comparison for the youngest child to understand what it means to 

Kids fighting over a toy? Here's how you can stay calm and handle the situation.
There are various ways you can help your children stop fighting over their belongings, including toys.

Is It Normal For Toddlers To Fight Over Toys?

Yes, toddlers are more likely to fight over toys. One of the main reasons why this happens often is because this is a time of learning for them. 

Toddlers learn to cope with situations and their emotions. Knowing right from wrong is another stepping stone for this age group. 

During this time, toddlers are still learning that people have different ideas about how things work in life. This is when teaching your child what’s right and wrong comes into play. 

How Do You Discipline Siblings That Fight? 

There are times when you won’t need to intervene. However, before that can happen, you’ll need to let your kids know what’s expected of them. 

Setting the ground rules is key. For instance, respecting one another and their belongings should always be top of mind. 

Once your kids know what’s expected of them, the argument can be minimized to remembering the ground rules. 

For moments when you do need to step in between older children, you should have a plan of action ready to go. 

You can do this by thinking of fair consequences for the children involved. This can be anything from taking away the item for a given time to putting away the toy for the rest of the day. 

Think of ways you can help your children learn from every situation. Regardless of how irritating it can be to hear kids arguing, you’ll want to de-escalate the argument. 

Options for disciplining siblings that fight include these Triple T’s: 

Time out or quiet alone time
Teaching moment
Treat

Time out or quiet alone time means having your kids sit or stand away from everyone so that they can reflect on what just happened. 

This is a great time for the kids to think about the issue and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. 

A teaching moment is when you take the situation before you and address your kids in a way that presents a lesson that can be learned from the argument. 

During instances when you find your kids fighting over toys, you can teach them the importance of sharing. It’s not only caring, it’s being considerate of one another and those around you. 

Oftentimes you might be having a tough day and your kids fighting is the last thing you need to set off your emotions. Although you can’t always control actions, you have the power within yourself to control your reactions. 

Not only is this a teaching moment for your kids, but it can be a teaching moment for yourself. As time goes on, you’ll be able to have better control over these types of situations in your home. 

A treat is something you can offer the kids over watching them argue. This can be anything from another toy to a game that everyone can do together. 

This option may not always work – more so if the kids are cranky and tired. You can do a mix of the Triple T’s to see which one works best based on the given situation. 

You can try all three by asking your kids to take time apart to think about what they did and then come back together to discuss how the situation could’ve been avoided. 

A treat of doing something together instead is always a great option. This can be anything from going for a walk to planning some activities for the month. 

Kids love to feel included in anything that you’re planning. Always do your best to have your kids share their thoughts whenever possible. This will help everyone be a part of the family fun

Discover techniques on how to deal with sibling rivalry issues and constant fighting.
What would you do if children were fighting and got physical? Learn quick tips on how to de-escalate the situation.

Sibling Rivalry Issues And Constant Fighting

With multiple children, you’re likely to feel the arguments between them. Sometimes it’s more than just kids fighting over toys.

There will be moments when your kids fight constantly and you’ll be questioning your sanity. Learning how to stay calm is important as you’re an important role model in their lives. 

How you react to situations like these is key to how they will treat similar issues. Paying close attention to the way the kids are interacting with each other is one of the best ways to handle sibling rivalry issues. 

When paying attention to their interactions, you’ll know when to intervene so that the situation doesn’t escalate or other issues arise. 

As a parent, you have to learn when you’re needed and when you’re wanted in a sibling rivalry situation. There are times when kids are just learning how to cope with situations and want your opinion. 

You can always address the issue after your kids have discussed it amongst themselves. If the argument gets too loud and/or physical, this is the right time to try the Triple T’s and discuss further. 

Preventing Sibling Rivalry 

Rivalry among siblings is inevitable, but it sure is manageable. Start with small changes and how you approach the situation once it begins. 

This will help your children understand what is and isn’t expected of them. According to Cleveland Clinic, there are 5 ways to prevent sibling rivalry: 

  1. Stay calm and in control
  2. Create a cooperative environment
  3. Celebrate individuality
  4. Plan fun family time
  5. Treat kids fairly – not equally

Another thing to keep in mind when dealing with arguments among siblings is to deal with them in a positive light. 

Here’s how you can intervene in your children’s arguments without hurting either side: 

Don’t blame anyone involved

Learning not to blame anyone in a situation between siblings is key. This will help future disputes among the parties involved. Since you don’t know the full story, you can’t go by what one child is saying over the other one. 

Listen to everyone and respect their emotions

Being able to listen to everyone during an argument is important. Not only is this a skill that helps your children in the future, but it also comes in handy during other situations in life. 

Remember that children learn at home first before they learn other habits from the world around them. Respecting their emotions helps you appreciate their individuality best. Not every child will react to the situation in the same way. 

Give them the opportunity to offer a solution themselves

To help yourself in the future, it’s best to plan ahead. As you discuss the issue before you, it’s important to ask your children what they think is the best solution to the argument. 

Giving yourself this superpower helps them understand that they, too, have a choice. 

Discuss punishments together

How you punish your child is another teaching moment for them to understand how things work. Discussing what went wrong and how to approach it next time helps your children improve their connections with others as well. 

Talking about situations that occurred during the day right before bed can help your kids have a clear mind on what they might’ve felt like saying earlier but didn’t get a chance to do so. 

Final Thoughts On Kids Fighting Over Toys

It’s easy to dismiss situations like this as kids just being kids. However, it can be more than just an argument over a certain item. 

You’ll want to give yourself and your family a set of ground rules you can follow together. This gives you a chance to help your kids know what is expected – more so when it comes to treating each other with respect. 

Although toys can be replaced, lessons follow you throughout your life. They help you know how to handle future situations. Make time to focus on the bigger picture with your kids. 

It might not be easy at first, but your goal should always be to improve daily. 

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15 Comments

  1. YUP! I have 1 and 3 year old girls and even they do it! Distraction is the BEST tactic!

    1. Yes! Distraction is how I keep these kids going (and from arguing).

  2. It can be so hard to remain calm sometimes but it really does make such a difference.

    1. I know what you mean, but the reward is greater when you take it easy.

  3. We are one and done, so there is no toy fighting here. Our daughter does complain about the dogs being in “her space” and not giving her “alone time.” Dogs are more passive and just leave though, but we do try to explain she has to share the space.

    1. Ha! I remember those days. Our little ones loved our pup when they were growing up — and yup, they complained too about their personal space.

  4. I only have one child but I’ve seen this happen around other kids! I do think distraction is a good trick but we do always make sure to try and explain taking turns with toys and how they will be able to have a turn soon

    1. It can be stressful at times.

  5. It can be a headache for parents, right? Lots of great tips here – especially staying calm! When mine were very little, distraction was definitely the better tactic. As soon as they got old enough to wait for a few minutes (2/3 years), I would ask my kids to share and take turns. Kids have justice and fairness hard-wired to their brains, so a physical timer helps with the implementation of sharing.

    1. It’s interesting to see how everyone handles different situations.

  6. Now that my kids are older teens, things have evolved 🙂 and staying sane is definitely easier since they prefer not to involve mom in their arguments much..but yes, it helped to be able to give them other things to be distracted by

  7. This brings back memories of when my brother and I were younger and fighting over everything. My mum and dad used to scream at us all the time. We never listened.

    1. I know the feeling. My parents did the same when my brothers and I would argue over things.

    2. Aw, glad it brought back memories.

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