This may be the title, but I must tell you, I really don't like that mantra. I've heard other moms say it, at the playground, at playdates, in the toy store. Do I think teaching sharing is important? Yup. Is it hard for kids to grasp? You betcha. Is it even hard for adults to share? Yes, yes, and yes.
Why does it bug me so much? I'm not sure. Maybe it is too cutsie, maybe it has been overused. Maybe it is because sharing is beyond caring. It is way of getting along with fellow playmates, with your siblings, with your coworkers, with, well, the rest of the world.
This is a HUGE social lesson, and this little phrase really doesn't help any kiddo, especially the little ones, learn how to share or explain sharing in any tangible, productive way. It is easy to say, but so much harder to do, this whole sharing thing.
And we know why: young kids are -- at heart -- egocentric. I'm not saying this little ones are snobbish or cruel, it is just they way we are all born. Read any developmental book, and you will know that little kiddos see the world only really through the veil of their own needs and wants. We have to teach them, not with a cutie phrase, the ins and outs of sharing because they won't naturally give up a favorite toy for a bit.
Not only that, but when they give up that favorite toy, those kiddos feel that they have given up power. Which is tough at that age, when they are first becoming independent and exploring -- which we are encouraging, right? Yet now, all of a sudden, when they are choosing a toy they want to play with we tell them, "Nope, when you are playing with firends, you need to give that up?" That doesn't easily compute in their world, and we all know the rebellion (and tantrum) to follow.
Which is why it is sosososoSO important that we teach our kids sharing; it's one of the best "habits" you can teach. With sharing comes empathy and generosity and all of that other great human, interpersonal stuff. It may take time, it may takes years, through different stages and moments in their young lives. I have some great tips and ideas coming up this week to help -- and hopefully you will share yours too...get it, share yours too...
How do you deal with sharing in your house?