I don’t make my children share. Okay, let me explain. I do have them share. But I don’t make it a priority. I don’t insist that they must share. And disciplining them for not sharing is not longer a huge role.
Now please let me give insight before you think of me as this horrible person. I read an article on this very subject from another mom. Of course, I was intrigued because I believed this woman was cray cray. As I was reading, I started to agree with all of her points. Soon, I began implementing this philosophy in my home.
So why don’t I make my kids share. First, they do have to share. I am teaching them about sharing is caring. Kindness is a muscle. The joy of sharing. All of that good stuff. Yet, I don’t always make them share. Lately, I have been noticing I am doing this more and more.
Life is unfair. Someone will always have something I don’t. Someone will be more talented, prettier, and richer than me. Or my sons. Jealousy can eat a person up, when you focus solely on what you don’t have rather than what you do have. I am their teacher. To show them how to navigate this crazy world we live in. When another child has the toy my three year old wants, I explain that it is their toy and I point out what my kid does have. I don’t make that other child give my kid the toy just because he wants it. Does my threenager like this? No. Is it fair? No. Does my kid get everything he wants? No. Is this just a small lesson to get him prepared for the future? Yes.
It is not your turn. Sorry child. You have to WAIT! I make my children wait. Ghastly, I know! What a horrible mother I am! Wait for a snack. Wait for a turn with a toy. Wait until they are old enough to have special privileges. Wait. Patience. Also I make my kids earn rewards. But not by just helping around the house with everyday chores. Those are benefits of being part of our household. Oh no. I think of some harder jobs that they can do to earn whatever it is they want. I make them pay with their own money. If it is a special toy or treat they would like to have, they have to use their birthday money or Tooth Fairy money to buy it. And if they fall short, well Christmas is right around the corner. With more and more things available at our fingertips, I am trying to teach my sons that we cannot always have instant gratification. Patience is a trait I have to teach them. Leading by example is good too.
Sharing is tricky. I do want my boys to know how to share. Yet, I want them to be able to say no. For instance, my oldest just had a birthday. He got some candy. His younger brother threw a fit because he wanted some. I told my 6 yr old he didn’t have to share if he didn’t want to. It was his gift. It is his birthday. I told my 3 yr old, he needed to ask nicely his older brother and if brother said no, then that was his choice. My boys already have to share a lot. Their time with mom. Their time with dad. For my oldest having a day that was just about him was pretty special. Plus, little brother wasn’t left out. He received some gifts along side the birthday boy. I don’t agree with this but I understand people like to shower them with love. It is fun to give gifts. However, I don’t want my boys to expect this every time.
Sharing is forced so someone else doesn’t get their feelings hurt. Sharing is forced so it is fair. Sharing is forced so someone doesn’t feel left out. Sharing is forced so everything is the same. I am not going along with this. I don’t agree. If I force my children to share for all of these reasons, then I am not helping anyone out. Life isn’t fair. It never has been or ever will be. My kids will have their feelings hurt. They will be left. They will not get everything they want. I am preparing my sons to be grown men. Responsible. Kind. Generous. Loving. Strong. Resilient. Selfless. Basically, I am working really hard not to raise douchebags (this is a really great article from Her View From Home on how to raise one).
If you see us at the park and are judging me for not making my kids share with yours, sorry. I don’t expect you to make your kids share with mine. But I am just being part of the village. Raising this next generation to be better than the one before them.