I Totally Agree With the Mom Who Doesn’t Make Her Kids Share
Have you seen the one about the mom who doesn't make her kids share? Yeah, it's a post that has gone viral and for good reason — because that mom is 100% right.
Alanya Kolberg is the mom behind the post seen `round the world. She first shared the story on her personal Facebook page. She and her son went to the playground. He brought along some of his beloved dinosaur toys. At the playground, a group of six other boys quickly descended upon him and demanded he share his toys.
She described how she encouraged her son to say no to their demands as she watched him get visibly overwhelmed and upset. And when he did exactly that, the other boys ran to “tattle” on him for not sharing. Because that's what we teach our kids, right? That sharing is caring?
Well, there will be no more of that, thanks to Kohlberg. She pointed out that it's best to teach children at a young age how to respect boundaries, listen to the answer of “no,” and learn to say “no” for themselves, too. There is absolutely no harm done to another child who is told “no” when demanding to share, but on the flip side, a child could be harmed by being bullied into sharing toys or learning that another person's demands are more important than what they want. It's actually crazy when you think about it.
“The goal is to teach our children how to function as adults,” Kohlberg pointed out. “I do know some adults who clearly never learned how to share as children. But I know far more who don't know how to say no to people, or how to set boundaries, or how to practice self-care. Myself included.”
I 100% support Kohlberg's message and I think it's very much needed. I know as parents, and moms especially, we have a tendency to worry about what other parents are going to think about us. If our kid is known as the “kid who won't share,” what does that say about us as parents. Right?
Well, maybe it says we are teaching them healthy boundaries and self-respect. I don't think any child should be forced to share a toy, especially with strangers. Although I do think there's a polite way to say “no” too. They're kids, after all. I usually say something like, “No, sorry, honey, he's playing with that right now,” if we are out in public and a child wants my kid's toy. Why the other parent doesn't speak is up beyond me, but that's another story for another day.
The point is, we definitely need to rethink our stance on sharing and I'm glad this post has helped us do that. Heck, I don't even make my kids share at our house and there's four of them, so you can imagine the fights I am constantly breaking up.
The way I look at it is simple: it's healthy and good to create boundaries and have ownership over your own things at a young age. It's also healthy to learn to respect others' boundaries at a young age and learn to wait and be patient and work well with others. If my oldest is playing with a toy that she got out and the youngest demands for her to turn it over, why on earth would I give into that? The oldest deserves to have her time and toy respected and she doesn't have to share with someone just because they insist on it, that's just craziness.
What do you think? Do you make your kids share?