How to facilitate turn-taking

How to facilitate turn-taking

Situation 1: A child (Susie) comes over to your child (Ella) and asks to play with the car she is using. The car does not belong to her. It is a communal toy.

You (to Susie): “Hi Susie, Ella is playing with the car at the moment. As soon as she is finished, she will bring it over to you, and it will be your turn.”

You (to Ella): “Ella, Susie would like to have a turn of the car when you are finished. When you are finished, please take it over to her and tell her that it is her turn now.”

You (to Susie): “Let’s go find you something else to do while Ella finishes her turn”.

Once Ella has finished-

You (to Susie): “Here you go, Susie, it is your turn of the car now. Ella has finished her turn.”

At first, you may need to demonstrate this process, but over time you would be able to step back a little as your child learns the process and words to use independently. I have found in playground situations, I need to actively intervene in this process as other parents can be quite new to this concept

Situation 2: Susie comes over to Ella and asks to play with the car she is using. The car is Ella’s, and she has bought it from home.

You (to Ella): “Ella, Susie is asking to play with your car. Would you like to let her have a turn using it after you have finished? She will give it straight back to you after she has had her turn?” Note – you have asked Ella’s permission as it is her toy, and you have set the boundary that Susie will need to give it straight back after her turn.

If Ella says yes- 

Proceed as per scenario one and explain to Susie that she will need to return it after her turn.

If Ella says no-You (to Susie): “Ella doesn’t feel comfortable sharing her car this time., What else can we find for you to do?” Note: you have respected Ella’s response which will boost her confidence and self-esteem. This is also an indirect lesson in consent and body autonomy.

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