Parents everywhere experienced a little shock and awe last week over one mama’s viral post describing how she tells her child he doesn’t have to share. While we can all appreciate that teaching your children to be assertive and having boundaries is an important skill, here’s why I’ll still be encouraging my girls to share:
Sharing actually IS a skill we use as adults daily. In offices, we share resources, ideas, catered lunches and more. In adult relationships and marriages, couples may share living spaces, bank accounts/finances, responsibilities and more. Parents share almost everything with their children. In churches and benefits, people share their time, talents and resources with others. Ever asked a coworker to borrow a pen in a meeting or split your packed lunch with a friend who forgot their lunch? I know I’ve been on the giving and receiving end of sharing as an adult multiple times.
We’re trying to raise kind, giving and unmaterialistic girls. In my opinion, sharing is good value. Objects don’t make us truly happy and it doesn’t hurt us to learn to share a toy with a friend or even a stranger. I’m hoping my girls grow up to donate to the needy, help others and not depend on items to fulfill them. So, yes, they can share a silly toy or even an extra snack with another child.
Payback/karma is no fun. Another problem I see with the mentality of teaching a child not to share is related to the Golden Rule. How will your child feel and react when another child refuses to share with them? I’m guessing it won’t feel too great.
(*If there is something really special to them, I tell them to leave it at home or be prepared to share.)
What are your thoughts on teaching sharing and boundaries? Let us know in the comments.
By Mary West
Mama of 2; Sharing is a skill we are working on every day with two littles under 3!