14 answers

What to Do About the "MINE!" Phase

My almost-2 year old son has recently started being possessive of whatever happens to be in his hands at the time, stating "Mine!" if we even make a move toward it. Does anyone have any advice on correcting this behavior?

What can I do next?

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I never stressed. If it was his, I'd ask to borrow it (if I wanted to). If it wasn't, I'd correct him. No screaming, no fighting. The more of a show they get, the more likely they are to continue it.

S.

2 moms found this helpful

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I never stressed. If it was his, I'd ask to borrow it (if I wanted to). If it wasn't, I'd correct him. No screaming, no fighting. The more of a show they get, the more likely they are to continue it.

S.

2 moms found this helpful

This is totally normal and an important developmental stage/touchpoint. This is actually an ideal point in time to work on boundaries since the child now understands the concept that some things are his and he can define the boundaries as to who he allows to mess with his things. You can also work on sharing. For example, if he wants to use some stuff from the kitchen (my kids loved to play with tupperware and pots and pans and wooden spoons) or needs stuff from your office - I have my own office supplies - including crayons and colored pencils, you let him know that you are being generous and sharing and he needs to appreciate this. He may then be willing to share with you. For example, you do need to ask if you want to take one of his books or toys out of his room for another child to use or even if you want to read to him in another room. This isn't spoiling a child this is showing him you respect his boundaries and he must respect other's boundaries.

2 moms found this helpful

Here's something we do with our sons that you could modify for your's.

Whenever my boys want something, cookie, cracker, drink, etc, I give one of them enough for the both and tell them to give them "x" amount to their brother. For example, if they want crackers for a snack I will give one of them six crackers and tell him to give his brother 3 crackers. If they want drinks I give one of them both drinks and tell him to give one to his brother. We have made this sort of interaction a normal part of our lives so it becomes second nature to them. This teaches them to share with things that are not as important to them as a toy or other treasured item. It has worked very well with my boys.

I know this will be harder for you since you only have one child, but you can give him four crackers and tell him to give you or Daddy one. Make a big deal of it when he does share the cracker, etc.

This phase will pass, but it's a great opportunity to teach him not only to share, but the joy of sharing. Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

Perfectly normal. It's annoying, but he's trying to establish independence. My oldest had a lovey blanket that ended up with the name "meenee" because that is how she pronounced "mine" at that age! We still have remnants of meenee and she is almost 14!
Treasure each stage, this one too will pass.

1 mom found this helpful

My son turned 2 two weeks ago and about 1 week ago he started the same thing, we were driving home from daycare and he was holding his blanket and saying mine. I haven't really been worried because I know all kids go through this stage. If the thing he is holding is truly his (like his blanket) I say yes that is yours and move on I do not say anything about it because in fact it is his. Now, if he gets something of mine or daddy's or wants something of ours that he can not play with, we say sorry that is mommy's or no that is daddy's, I think this is teaching him to respect other people's things and I may be doing it all wrong, but live and learn right. Now, we have not run into the problem with sharing "his" toys yet so I can't really make him understand sharing when there is no one else to share with. Also, like another poster said, we do ask him to give something to daddy or mommy to help him understand and he does say please and thank you. Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful

There isn't any "correction" for this behavior that a child his age will understand. It's a very normal phase that may last well into him turning 3 years of age.

Just let it go- it's part of him establishing himself and his opinion. Enjoy is while you can.....he might not have much to say to you once he's a teenager!! :-)

1 mom found this helpful

I recommend the "Happiest Toddler on the Block" DVD. It was great in helping us deal with most of the toddler behaviors....

1 mom found this helpful

We're working through that as well.

My mom tells me it's normal behavior, that it's often a phase where toddlers are developing a sense of power (plus he doesn't really know better yet.)

We've just made it very clear if our son announces that something is "Mine!" then it gets taken away for at least a few minutes and we say, "Yes it's yours (or No it's not yours, we're borrowing it, it's Daddy's and he's sharing it with you, etc.), and it's rude for you to say it's yours. You may not play with it for x minutes to help you remember next time." Also using the words "your turn" and "her turn" or "his turn" at some point in our brief correction seems to work well at diffusing his frustration if there is another child involved.

This has really helped the frequency of the problem, though he still gets things taken away regularly...;D

1 mom found this helpful

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