I normally don't write in response to other blogs or articles I have read, but today I feel the need to respond to a blog that has been going around the "mommy blogs". I've seen it pop up repeatedly in my news feed over the past couple of weeks. The first time I read it, I sorta shrugged and admitted I agreed with most of it. But, the more it popped up the more it began to annoy me and the less I found myself agreeing with in it.
It's the "Why I don't make my child share" blog post. If you haven't read it this is the gist- A mom has decided that by forcing her son to share with others she is giving these children unrealistic expectations of life. They will grow up thinking that they deserve to get anything and everything just because they want it....
I see her point....kinda. Children shouldn't be allowed to point at anything and everything another person has and automatically assume they will receive it in the name of "sharing". I don't want my son to be walked all over by some kid who envokes the holy rights of sharing! Like all kids, my son has favorite or new toys that are special and can be reserved for him. But, telling your child they can use a toy ( one that doesn't even belong to them) indefinitely when another child is standing on the side lines staring longingly? I think there is a deeper more important lesson being missed here.
Kindness. Thoughtfulness. Compassion. Empathy. Shoot, a general awareness that the world contains people other than them! These are important traits to instill in our children as well. The act of sharing should be less about the desires of the other child and more about the attitude of your child. I want my son to share not because the other child really wants it. I want him to share because he is kind and understands what it feels like to be the kid without. Call me crazy, but I think if we are more concerned about teaching our children kindness and compassion the selfish attitudes the author is so afraid of will be taken care of as well.
At the end of the blog the author gives an example of how adults wouldn't just go skipping in the grocery store line because they feel they deserve to go sooner. Ok sure. But, will we have citizens who look around and see the person with only one item and kindly let them skip ahead? Will someone see the frazzled mom with three kids who is obviously having a DAY and take compassion on her by letting her go first? Or will they simply think, " I was here first. Stinks for them, but I DESERVE to go first."
Maybe I'm taking the whole "no share" policy to seriously. But, I find the results of it much more frightening than the world in which Tommy's Mommy encouraged him to hand over the cool toy for a little while.