Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mommy, Kay is not sharing!

Hi all,

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?


  1. This post makes a whole lot of sense.I don't have kids yet (i'm not married yet),but i hang around my cousins' kids alot so i know alot and really,you'd hear "so and so is not sharing" very often.Like you pointed out,we could pass the wrong message when we're trying to teach the kids to learn the act of sharing.Most times,the kids don't even agree to sharing because the other kid came forcefully.I sometimes chase my kids away when they come to report that another isn't sharing because i also want them to know sometimes you have to be contented with what you have.Nice post!

  2. I do agree with you, parents like me make the same mistake about sharing...sometimes it comes out unintentionally, when one is busy, and the younger one comes crying, just to have peace or quiet, i simply tell the older one to share. The words please, may I? should be the keywords...and i expect the person to grant them the request, or tell them to wait for a while.
    To solving this problem, i have learned to buy the same for all of them, but different colours so as to know who lost or damage theirs, if i don't have enough cash, I DON'T BUY.
    A refreshing and interesting post. Weldone sistah :D

  3. Whenever I can, must add, not very often, I try and let them understand the reason why they need to share. Me like most parents out just do exactly what you said, tell the other to share and be gone with it. Giving them something to chew on or think about is so much better.

  4. Hmmm... That is hard oh... But I feel children pick these things from observing their environment. The best you can do for them is create an environment of love and sharing.

  5. I loved this post cos I can relate to it. I've had lots of moments when I simply tell my kids to share and quickly move on to the next thing but I've realized, over time, that sharing works a lot better when there's the right blend of courtesy, patience and kindness.
    Thanks for this reminder :)

  6. Great post. I will take this to heart when Abby starts playing with other little kids or when she starts playing with future siblings ;)

  7. Just teach them how to love and care for each other and sharing will follow

  8. Post on point, you are surely a good mother.

  9. nicee one.... thanks for this.. will take it on board.

    so where are u and how are you?? its been awhile oh

  10. Ok, please come back to update pretty please