Sharing is caring?? — The Bump
February 2016 Moms

Sharing is caring??

I read this blog post this morning that makes total sense to me, but I'm bored and want to hear what you ladies think as well.

https://www.popsugar.com/moms/Should-You-Teach-Kids-Share-27333250?utm_source=com_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=com_newsletter_v3_05112016&em_recid=181132090&utm_content=placement_1_image

tl:dr - we shouldn't teach our children to share unless they want to because as adults we don't share like many moms expect children to.

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Re: Sharing is caring??

  • I have a 2.5yr old. I take the approach of, "Sally is playing with that right now. You need to wait your turn (until she's done). Let's find something else to play with." I wouldn't tell that Sally it was my kid's turn, and if my daughter got upset that Sally never shared, we'd talk about how sometimes we can play with things, and sometimes someone else is using them. 

    We run into the same thing regarding playing with others. She always wants to play with people, usually older kids, so we've had several conversations about how sometimes other people won't want to play with us, and that's ok. 

     With that said, though, I really don't think that telling children to share is the source of the entitlement issues and adulthood.

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    kirkie928paytonpedro
  • @VitaLuna I agree. I think the entitlement issues stem more from well meaning moms doing and giving everything.

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  • Interesting article. I think it's good to teach kids they don't HAVE to share, but I personally also think it's important to encourage them to share their own stuff and think about others'  feelings. I feel a little sorry for the kid in the article who wanted a turn on the red car toy and was ignored by the author and her son for 1.5 hours...that's not very considerate of others.
  • =caenis= said:
    Interesting article. I think it's good to teach kids they don't HAVE to share, but I personally also think it's important to encourage them to share their own stuff and think about others'  feelings. I feel a little sorry for the kid in the article who wanted a turn on the red car toy and was ignored by the author and her son for 1.5 hours...that's not very considerate of others.
    Why feel sorry for that kid when there was a nearly identical one available? When you say encourage them to share, what do you mean? Like you'd tell them to let the kid on the playground play with the toy your child brought from home just because the other one wanted it?

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  • I think if you're at a park and the toy belongs to someone specific, you can ask and the other child can say no. I don't have a problem with that. From my nannying days, I'm not a huge fan of bringing toys (that aren't sand toys or chalk or something like that) to parks or playdates. We went out to run around and so they could play with other kids--not to worry about special toys (or hoard them). I never let the kids take stuff they weren't willing to share. We'd play with those things at home where there was less chance of things getting lost/broken and wouldn't bring any toys the next time if there were issues on a trip. 

    I think common toys at preschools, parks, etc and most toys when friends come over to play are very different and should be shared. The whole point of those situations is to develop pro-social behaviors like sharing, asking to play, self-advocating, turn taking, problem solving, etc that are so important. Learning how to handle tough situations/emotions through play is some of the most important of the "work" of play.

    I also think it's pretty entitled to play with the red car for 1.5 hrs just because you got there first and don't care that others want a turn. 
    beharringtonjordans_wifejellybellybean3nackie
  • I also wouldn't have let my kid use a toy for an hour and a half if someone else really wanted to use it (30 minutes is one thing, an hour and a half is another). If it was his toy, it would be different, but it's a community toy, and I think it's important that kids learn to not be overly possessive over things that aren't "theirs". I
    think there has to be a balance in how/when we encourage sharing or don't. 

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    beharrington
  • @mwmiller4 why is that entitlement when he's not taking away from the other child? There was a nearly identical car available. I would say that it's entitlement if that was the only car available, but the other child wanted that specific one for what reason? Probably because another child was using it, that's very common as I'm sure you're aware of. I think it's a really important lesson for children to learn that sometimes (most of the time) they're not going to get their way and to learn to deal with that disappointment. 

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  • mwmiller4mwmiller4 member
    edited May 2016
    @DrillSergeantCat I'm a primary special Ed  teacher and spent a year as an assistant in a PreK room and will freely admit that typical preschoolers (who are now often called toddlers--but I'm talking in the 2.5-4 age range) are not my favorite age because typical preschoolers are often kind of jerks (toy stealing/hoarding, only wanting things because other kids have them, etc).

    I guess when I read it, I figured that there were two sides to the story and that maybe the car wasn't nearly identical to the other child who wanted to use it. Especially since the author's child loved that one red car specifically, I figured the other child probably felt the same way. I totally agree about learning to deal with disappointment--and sometimes disappointment for my daughter will be having to move on from a preferred activity after a good long time when someone else wants a turn. Like @VitaLuna said, there needs to be a balance over when/how sharing occurs.
  • @mwmiller4 I agree with that and if it were my child and he was playing with a toy that there was only one of and another child wanted a turn, I'd steer him to something else. However, if there were multiples of that item, I'd let him play with it as long as he wanted.

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  • @DrillSergeantCat I was going to post on this when I first saw it pop up but I forgot #mommybrain. Since then I've taken my LO to a mommy and me reading class at the library close to me. While their I saw one kid knock over another so that he can grab the toy she was actively playing with while screaming in her face until his mom pulled him off. This continued for the first half and hour where he would try and snatch toys from other kids.

    I have always been one to believe sharing is caring because it's respectful, but also I'm one of seven so there were plenty of times I couldn't get something someone else was playing with. In the article she says they hold toys and swings for kids when they go to the restroom. Being one of seven we had a you snooze you loose policy for everything. As an adult sounds silly but it made for fun memories with my family lol.

  • I agree with this article to some extent. It is absolutely important to teach children to handle disappointment and that life isn't always 'fair' and for some kids (my oldest especially) this is a very difficult life lesson to accept. However I think the car example is extreme. Even if there are other similar cars available, there must be something special about this one. I really don't see where teaching empathy by giving someone else a turn after a reasonable amount of time is not also an important life skill.  Couldn't the writers child also enjoy one of the other unoccupied cars?  I also wonder how the author would feel if she arrived 5 minutes late only to have someone occupy her child's favorite car the entire 90 minutes. 
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  • Honestly, I think her perspective is a little ridiculous. She doesn't want her child to become entitled, so she allows him to believe that he can use the toy the entire time without allowing any other children a turn, even though it is a shared toy? Doesn't make sense to me. Just because it is allowed does not make it the best decision, in my opinion. I don't think there's anything wrong with teaching a child that it's awesome to share with friends even though he isn't technically obligated to. Most of my closest friends are close friends because they have done things for me (and likewise, me for them) even though they were not obligated. I would rather try to teach my child to go above and beyond for others. 
    *E 10/2012, H 7/2014, F 2/2016*
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  • @DrillSergeantCat
    Yeah, I think I'll try to encourage my kids to share their toys with other kids - not force them to, but make them feel good about it if they do share. I have a different opinion about this if a child is bullying/demanding to play with a toy that isn't theirs. That's not cool, and that kind of behavior should be nipped in the bud. But if a child is showing interest in the toy and asking to play with it, I think it's great to encourage sharing and bonding with other people.

    The red car toy thing just struck me the wrong way. The author was so proud of the fact that her son rode around on the thing for 1.5 hours, ignoring the adult who approached him asking if her kid could have a turn. It's rude. Like @MississippiCatfish said, it's almost like she's teaching him entitlement instead of how to handle disappointment, because he wasn't forced to engage/negotiate with other people who wanted a turn. As a parent, I think she should've stepped in here to explain his options instead of basically allowing him to be a jerk. As far as there being other, nearly identical toys around...she says, "there's this one red car in particular my son really likes playing with" and it implies to me there is something different about that toy. But if there really were identical toys available, her son could have pointed that out to the adult and been on his way (instead of ignoring her) or gracefully given the other kid a turn and grabbed the identical toy himself.




    Miss Lilac
  • Ok. I can see the other perspectives on the car situation. I do think, though, that if it were my child and I saw another mother repeatedly tell him to get off of it, I would allow him to keep using it just to spite her. I know that sounds petty, but if he's not hurting anything there's no reason for another mother to try to change his behavior. I'd probably go up and have words with her. =Caenis= these are toddlers we're talking about here so you can't expect the child to point out to an adult that there are other cars available. 

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  • @DrillSergeantCat Ah, wasn't sure about the ages. You're right, it would be a bit much to expect from a toddler. I think it would've been an appropriate moment to provide some guidance as a parent. Ignoring someone like that is not OK.
  • Ok. I can see the other perspectives on the car situation. I do think, though, that if it were my child and I saw another mother repeatedly tell him to get off of it, I would allow him to keep using it just to spite her. I know that sounds petty, but if he's not hurting anything there's no reason for another mother to try to change his behavior. I'd probably go up and have words with her. =Caenis= these are toddlers we're talking about here so you can't expect the child to point out to an adult that there are other cars available. 
    I do agree that it is SUPER annoying when other people try to parent your kids (which, in a way is what that mom was doing by trying to nag him into sharing). A friend was telling me the other day that a cashier at target scolded her 2 year old with a speech delay for not saying thank you and she was pissed - understandably so!
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