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  • Writer's pictureAlley Dezenhouse Kelner

Waiting, Turn Taking and Sharing

🌈PLEASE WAIT🌈 So often grown ups report that kids struggle to share—“Alley is encouraged to play nicely and take turns with her peers”. 🤦🏻‍♀️

Learning to wait is an often overlooked piece of the puzzle when it comes to reciprocal (back and forth) play (and sharing). So, while eliciting opportunities for “my turn” and “your turn” can be useful it’s important to also create opportunities to target the self regulation and impulse control needed to thrive socially, during play, when “waiting nicely” is part of the deal (hint-“waiting nicely”requires self regulation and impulse control at the same time 😬 ).

Here are some tips for teaching waiting (best used alongside self regulation training and proactive teaching of coping mechanisms)

❤️start when the stakes are low (not highly preferred items, not in high stress situations, or during big feelings)

💙build the skill low and slow

💜say “please wait” (or whatever language works for you, but be consistent in your language)

💛provide a visual cue—finger count down.

💚remember “low and slow” and start with just a few seconds “please wait—[finger count down] 3,2,1”

🧡increase the duration contingent on success (I.e data 💕); when you kiddo can successfully (and consistently) wait for 3 seconds (in low stakes settings) move to 5, 10, 15 and then ultimately to less concrete times “soon” “after” “next”

❤️dont move on to high stakes (emotionally charged) situations until you’ve mastered waiting in low stakes situations.

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