We recently spent a few days on a mini family vacation up in Charlotte with all four kids. This was the first real trip we had taken since the baby was born and I have to say it was EXHAUSTING. The kids all had a great time but I was so ready to come back home and get into my bed. While we were there we had the privileged of taking that kids to the Discovery Place in Charlotte. The kids had a blast and my husband and I really enjoyed it as well. There was however one thing while we were there that really struck a nerve with me and has been on my mind since the moment it happened.
Colton (now 2 1/2) was playing with one of the displays when a little girl probably about 6 or 7, ran up to the item he was playing with, pushed him to the side and proceeded to tell him that he NEEDED to share. The first thing that bothered me was that this little girls mom was no where to be seen (this seemed to be a trend for this little girl as we saw her several times and only once did I see her anywhere near her mom). The second thing that really bothered me is why should he have to stop playing with what he had just because you want it?
We grow up our whole lives being told to share. Share your pretzels. Share your car. Share Share Share. But why? Ok I get it, sharing is the polite thing to do, but when did it polite to ask someone to give you something that is there’s just because you want it? If my two year old is playing with a ball, and your kid wants to play with it, guess what? Too damn bad! Instead of teaching them that my child is selfish because he doesn’t want to share the toy that he was already playing with, why not teach your child that they need to be patient and wait their turn?
Now don’t get me wrong, if my child has monopolized 5 or 6 toy cars, I don’t have a problem with encouraging him to let someone else play with one or two of his choice. Or if he has a bag of pretzels and wants to share them with someone else that’s fine too and will not be discouraged. But I will not use the words “you have to share your…” any longer to appease the masses.
So please stop teaching your children that just because someone else doesn’t want to give you the toy that they are playing with does not make them selfish. Help them to learn that just because they want something doesn’t mean that they will get it. I know that this won’t be popular with everyone but I needed to say it.