For a young child, one minute may seem like an eternity : not always easy to wait for turns! Yet, in order to live better relationships with others, it is important to learn patience.
Learning to wait for turns is learning respect for others : the key to harmonious interactions with peers, whether at home or at daycare. For a young child, this can be particularly difficult, especially at first : yet if your child understands the concept, it will also be easier to respect rules.
Your child is too young? Know that you can start teaching your children from four months old! For example, you could take a plushy and kiss it, taking turns. A kiss for mom and a kiss for baby. “My turn, your turn!” The older your child gets, the more complex the little games should become.
TEACHING YOUR CHILD TO TAKE TURNS THE FUN WAY
At first, children are more focused on themselves and time is relative. To learn how to take turns, your child will need your support and your help.
Choose games your child will have an interest for.
The first few times, limit the number of participants to two: this way, turns will come frequently and anger or loss of interest in the game will less likely to happen.
To help, you can use a gesture or object to indicate whose turn it is.
Emphasize efforts. Tell your child that you understand it can be difficult to wait when we want to play, but that you can see he is working hard to do so and that you are proud of him.
Limit the games to 5-10 minutes, unless your child is being very positive and likely to continue.
GAMES TO HELP UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF TAKING TURNS
FROM AGE ONE
Love Attack : take a plushy and kiss it, taking turns. A kiss for mom and a kiss for baby. “My turn, your turn!”
Bounce Ball : sitting on the ground, legs apart, have fun pushing the ball to the other person with your hands, taking turns.
Reading Duo : turn the pages of a book, taking turns. “One page for dad, one for you!”
FROM AGE TWO
Pile Of Hands : put your hand on the table saying “My turn!”. Ask your child to put his hand over yours and say “Your turn!”, and so on. Remove the hand underneath when the two hands are taken.
FROM AGE THREE
Group Work Art: draw on a sheet taking turns. Once the drawing is finished, applaud!
Hat Leader: players mimic the gestures of the one who wears the hat. After 3 actions, it’s someone else’s turn.