Happy August. July just sped by like a ride on a roller coaster. Four months to go. There is still time to meet those goals or even set those goals.
Ever so often as parents or generally adults we try to teach the importance of sharing to children under our care. We want them to share their toys, sometimes share a snack, share their space etc. The power to possess is a natural part of a child's growth so it would be difficult for the child who has just perfected the use of "mine" and "no" to agree to sharing. Sometimes in teaching about sharing we go about it the wrong way;we sometimes unknowingly pass on the wrong message.
Having two kids under the age of 5, I hear a lot of "someone is not sharing" at least 10 times a day. Initially I would just go, ' Kay, share with your brother' or vice versa. I used to act like refusing to share was a crime, and they must always share. I forget that sharing even for me can be difficult sometimes. Sharing should be agreeable and not forceful.Telling a child to give up his or her possession just because another child wants it, is not true sharing, rather it is a surrender of property.I realized that I was not only ignoring their feelings, I was also passing the wrong message to them. Yes, I want my children to be generous, kind and cooperative but I don't want them to ever think the other person has more right than them or that without my intervention they cannot solve their own little problems.
A better approach would be to tell Jay to ask Kay nicely if he can play with the toy when she is done or if he can join in the play with her. If that doesn't work, Jay gets to play with something else while he waits his turn. Most times because Kay has been given the power to express her right as the first person to play with the toy, her brother doesn't have to wait long before she either gives him the toy or invites him to come play with her. Everyone is happy, no one feels threatened or abandoned. Win-win. This never plays out as easy as I described, sometimes there are tantrums, but all the parties involved know the underlying message.
What ways do you think children can learn about sharing?