To Share or Not to Share...

....apparently, that's the question.
I saw this article the other week about why this mom doesn't make her son share.

When first reading the title I was a little taken aback, because, how could you NOT instill this in your child? But, she brings up some valid points, the main one being:

in a situation where a child wants to play with another child's toy, and the one kid doesn't want to share, they shouldn't have to. These types of situations instill that "if I want it, I should have it" mentality in kids. (her point, not mine--but I see some validity here).

I see this point, especially since I work at a school and have commented (and heard others' comments) about how taken aback I am when a kid is SO entitled, or does not feel the need to contribute to something, like cleaning up a mess they were participating in. When I was growing up, if a teacher asked me to put something away, or to push in a chair, I didn't say "why???"...I did it. That's not the case with so many kids today, in my experience. Instead, more times than not, I get "why do I have to do that?"

However, I think there's a completely different side to this argument, too.
Sure, life isn't about getting what you want when you want it. That's not realistic. And I don't think that we should bring kids up to believe that. But there's the other side which is being a caring person. Someone who sees that "hey, Johnny wants a turn with this. If I was Johnny, I'd really hope someone would share with me"...

I think it isn't necessarily about teaching your child to share, or not share, but more about teaching your child perspective-taking. How many times have you taken, or tried to take, the perspective of someone else, and all of a sudden your angry meter goes from 100 to 10? Because now you can kind of see why they may or may not have done something, or reacted a certain way... 

In the end, life is a balance. You have to teach both sides of the coin, and I think, in order to do that, you have to teach a kid to take someone else's perspective.

Obviously, I'm not a parent, and who knows how I'll be as one, but working with kids on a daily basis makes me scared, on so many levels, to have kids of my own that are going to grow up in a world full of so many "gimmes" and "me me me's"

What are your thoughts?


  1. You know how I feel. I think we are teaching our children to be entitled. It drives me nuts. Nor do I condone negotiating with a child.

  2. I love your perspective on this, and as a parent completely agree - children should be taught both sides of the coin for sure! I will do absolutely everything possible to keep Caleb from growing up to be entitled, as no one likes an entitled child!

  3. For me, it always depends on the situation with my children. They often fight over toys and it's not easy. I think you're right that it's a balance. Although, J has no awareness of other people's feelings no matter how much I try to explain it to him. He's in a very egocentric stage, which I hear starts changing when he turns about 5 - just one more year!! Anyway, I also agree that children are extremely entitled these days and it drives me crazy as well. We don't want our kids to be entitled, but now being parents of 2 preschool age kids (and one who is NOT easy at ALL) we can see how easily it can happen. It's a constant struggle.

  4. i think you said it best, kinds need to learn balance and perspective when it comes to things like sharing and whatnot. always easier to say that than actually make it come out in real life though


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