The Kid Dictionary author Eric Ruhalter offers some toddler boy insights. His book is full of hilarious words to describe the indescribable things kids do. After all, we’ve all heard Blubberish (the incomprehensible breathless stammering of a crying child trying to tell you what happened to her), and it’s a rare parent that’s never had to treat an Invisibooboo (the site on a child’s body where you unnecessarily applied a bandage to appease him when he got hurt, even though no blood ever appeared).
If you ever happen upon a large group of little boys playing and you see a toy in their midst and want to know who it belongs to, just ask any kid at random to touch it. The owner is the kid who immediately bounds over, screaming “THAT’S MINE!!!!!”
Possessive little buggers aren’t they? But perhaps this is just a normal social phenomenon. They will grow into adults out in the world trying to stake their claim. They will establish themselves and develop their ability to provide for themselves and eventually their families. They’re not going to get very far at that by letting any and everyone just take their stuff. No sir.
You’d think, you’d hope, that they’d also be programmed to be charitable and share, such as grownups do when they donate money or things or time and effort to give back to their community. But, unfortunately, little kids aren’t yet wired that way, and don’t receive tax write-offs. Thus it may take some time before they develop the mind to enjoy and appreciate the rewards of giving.
But just think of “THAT’S MINE!” as sort of a child’s equivalent of copyright protection. Every kid wants what’s his remains his. This should, of course, go hand in hand with your kids understanding that things that DO NOT belong to him are not his to take and do with as he pleases. But it doesn’t. All in good time though. If we do our jobs correctly.