Taking turns


Check out the video highlighting my cats having their “play” session before they eat. It is amazing how they take turns. 

How did they learn this skill? Who taught them?

This set me to wondering, how did I learn to take turns? There were four kids in my family including me. I am the oldest. I think some of the learning happened as I helped with the younger kids. They needed help to get started with playing, eating, and getting dressed. The concept of taking turns was reinforced with the positive words I heard from my parents. I was a good helper. I would take care of my siblings and then take care of myself.

I believe that taking turns involves sharing of resources, toys, clothes, stuff, space, etc. This really works at the rotaries and at stop signs. Being in a conversation with someone requires sharing the time and paying attention to the pause from the other person. Otherwise, either one of the people involved can get frustrated and may have feelings of being disrespected. When my husband and I are cooking together, we have a shared responsibility to follow the recipe, clean up after ourselves and watch where we are going so as not to bump into each other. 

When I was actively working with children, the concept of cooperative play was important. Cooperative play involves children playing and working together with others towards a common goal or purpose. It is important to learn cooperative play so that you develop the skills to collaborate and cooperate at school and in other typical social settings, like sports.

So back to my cats……how did they learn? 

I am not a cat but maybe they also have a sense for the value of sharing of resources. Not wanting to bump into each other when chasing after the toy, they are trusting that that they will each get a turn.

Is it that simple?

Big Hugs and Much Love,