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On sharing:

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

I just read THIS ARTICLE about one mother's opinion on sharing. I'm not yelling at you, btw, I just wanted to make it clear that you could click on THIS ARTICLE if you want to read it.

If you dont' want to read THIS ARTICLE, that's okay, I'll tell you what it says. Basically, the mom writes that she doesn't expect her son to share in all situations. She claims that ownership is a valid point in all human interactions and that in the real world, we don't all have to share.

I know, at first I thought, "Not Share! What? Everyone child everywhere has been taught how to share."

But, I totally get her point and have to agree that sharing is not necessary in some circumstances. Certain toys are communal, like playgrounds. It's polite to swing awhile, then give someone else a turn. It's also okay to find something else to do if the swings are occupied. Should you share a drink? Nope. If you bring a jumprope do all the kids need a turn at it? Nope.

But, if a little person visits our house then my kids are expected to share. They aren't brats and they need some manners. Sharing is good manners within your own home.

In the case of siblings, my boys are expected to share to a point. If a brother wears your shirt or plays with your Spiderman that was laying on the floor, then that's fair game.

But, I have noticed as they get older that ownership cannot be overlooked. It's okay to have your own things. To stake claim to something and call it your own. To tell someone to get their grubby hands off your stuff. I do it myself. And, I'm okay with the boys drawing a territorial line across the entrance to their rooms. I actually encourage it and consider it a sign of respect and privacy, something everyone should be entitled to in their home.

But, the author stretched it just a bit when she said that sharing caused a sense of entitlement to kids. Hmmmm .... I don't know about that. I'd say the new generation's sense of entitlement comes more from what their parents have given them (everything) rather than what they're taking or giving other children on the playground.






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No, no, no, a kid doesn’t have to share his things with strangers and certainly doesn’t have to hand something over while he’s still using it. I remember taking toys to the pool and the girls would share them. I told them, that’s fine, but you need to keep an eye on them or you might never see them again. Sometimes I encouraged them to just put them away, in the bag, when they were done with them so they wouldn’t get lost, even though there were always other kids waiting to use them. The example of the boy in the red car brings back a memory of Amy at 14 months. We lived in Denver and would go to the kids’ climbing area at Cherry Creek Mall. It was a bunch of giant, rubberized breakfast food. Amy’s favorite was the fried egg. She’d climb atop the bright yellow yoke and just sit there, Queen of the Friend Egg, while a bunch of other toddlers stared at her, high above, just willing her to move. Even at that age, with no words to communicate with, it was good to let them work it our for themselves, for her to find out just how quickly another one of those kids could get up there if she dared move.

*Like* to Randee.

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