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I know a sweet, delightful 3-year-old who is very generous for her age ... unless one of the other kids in her play group wants to play with the kitchen set. She's been known to throw herself bodily across the play kitchen, just to keep another child from playing with it.

Why would this sweet child act this way? Actually, her behavior simply marks her as a normal 3-year-old. When young children don't want to share, it doesn't necessarily mean they're being selfish or insensitive. Young children think very concretely, and have a hard time looking at things from someone else's perspective.

With that in mind, it's easy to see why children sometimes have trouble sharing. A child may know that she wants to play with a particular toy. However, her thinking may not be sophisticated enough to put herself in the place of another child who wants to play with it too.

It's no wonder, then, that young children's conflicts usually revolve around objects. Sharing is hard, and no one is born ready to share all the time. But here are some things that you can do to make it easier:

 
 

 
 
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