In Defense of Sharing: Response to "Why I Don't Make My Son Share" | Ask Your Dad Blog

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In Defense of Sharing: Response to "Why I Don't Make My Son Share"





Look out. I'm on a bit of a tear. So much so that I will be using the following words in this post: thusly, poppycock, and old-hat. That's right, I'm going early twentieth century up in this shiz. 

I keep seeing this post about why kids shouldn't be encouraged to share on my Facebook news feed. For some reason, I've read it multiple times. Every time I read it I end up doing one of those two handed palm up "why" gestures at my computer.  I don't know if you've read it, but allow me summarize it for you (or go read it and come back). 

Very Bloggy Beth starts out by telling us that the day care she brings her kid to is a parent co-op - meaning all the parents chip in and take a turn watching each other's children. It has a set of rules that every parent has to follow to remain consistent. Makes sense. 

One of these "we're all on the same page" rules is that any kid who has any toy gets to keep said toy as long as he or she want to. If said kid needs to go to the bathroom, from what I can tell, a designated toy watcher will keep the toy isolated until the child returns.  And this ownership applies to EVERYTHING. Monkey bars? Stay the hell off of them until Jimmy is done. Swing? It doesn't have Sally's name on it, but her right of inheritance remains intact while she is off making a poo poo. And the "wonderful" thing is, all the co-op kids have bought in to this strategy; so no one pitches a fit when they can't play with each other's Legos. I'm not even sure anyone even asks after the first couple weeks. Sweet, quiet obedience. 

OK, so let's try not to focus on the irony that this is a co-op... a cooperative.. an  autonomous association of persons who voluntarily cooperate for their mutual, social, economic, and cultural benefit THAT DISCOURAGES SHARING! Let's just continue on. 

Very Bloggy Beth then shows us a couple "real world" examples of why the no-share policy is better.  

In the first example, a tiny toddler is playing with a car and an older, bigger toddler comes up and DEMANDS the car. Then they get in what she refers to as a "typical toddler scuffle" which I like to imagine looked something like this:




Eventually, angry bigger toddler's mom comes up, separates the two, and chides tiny toddler's mom for not teaching her kid how to share. 

In situation two, another toddler is playing with a toy in a sea of similar toys when a mom who doesn't belong to him comes up and instructs him to give up the toy he is currently playing with so the toddler she does belong to can play with it. Actual mom of toddler 1 is watching from the sidelines as not-his-mom fruitlessly asks over and over for not-her-kid to give up the toy. Eventually not-the-mom gives up and actual-mom chuckles from the sideline at her child's independence.  

Bloggy Beth doesn't agree with either approach, and here is where we agree. I don't either. But then we part ways again. She breaks it down thusly. (I've always wanted to say thusly)

" …it's a good lesson for you both to learn that this (giving your child everything they want) isn't always possible, and you shouldn't step all over people to get things. Furthermore, this is not how things work in the real world. In your child's adult life, he's going to think he's owed everything he sees. This is already happening in the next generation. "

"If you doubt my reasoning, think about your own day-to-day adult life. You wouldn't cut in front of someone in the grocery checkout line, just because you didn't feel like waiting. And most grown adults wouldn't take something from someone, like a phone or a pair of sunglasses, just because they wanted to use it."

See! She's doing us a favor. She is going to teach her kids not to share so they can teach other kids the all-important lessons of personal responsibility, property ownership, and life's unfairness. Additionally, the non-sharing toddlers will prevent our share-enabled kids from growing up into a sharer/taker generation. They will feel less entitled and more independent. They won't assume that they are owed. Atlas won't have to shrug. Rich people won't abandon us to move to a compound in Colorado. These selfish toddlers are going to SAVE THE WORLD. IT'S A MIRACLE! I DON'T KNOW WHY I'M YELLING!

OK… deep breath. That was a bit much. I'm just bugged. 

Look...you can't just nit-pick random, annoying adult behaviors and then directly attribute them to the unknown, albeit likely, chance that their moms made them share their Light Brights when they were kids. That's illogical, and to be honest, it's far too easy. Look, I can do it too! Can you believe that asshole going fifty in the passing lane for the last 20 miles. He must have had a mom that taught him not to share! And can you believe that Carl uses all three microwaves in the break room to heat up his three course lunch even though there are ten people waiting to use them? He must have gone to a parenting co-op where he had a designated "toy watcher" whilst he went poo poo. Society these days…

Yes, I know my snark is turned up to an 11, but I really think these one to one comparisons of lessons and behaviors we teach our toddlers to practical, real world, adult situations are complete poppycock. (I've also always wanted to say poppycock.) 

A no sharing policy is as ridiculous as a mandatory you-must-share-everything policy. Discouraging Jimmy from even asking to play with Alice's toy train is as dumb as telling Alice that she has to give it to him if he asks. We should be encouraging both! Let them interact. Let them learn to negotiate. Let them squabble a bit. Don't make Jimmy sit on the side of the playground and wait for Alice to walk away from her ball. There will be plenty of time to be awkward and antisocial in high school! 

And yes, I get that there isn't a specific "no sharing" policy at this daycare co-op. But it seems clear from the article that the "you get to keep it as long as you want policy" has stymied sharing to the point that it is rarely requested. That's a horrible thing in my book. 



How about this? Instead of teaching children to absolutely share or to absolutely not share, why not teach children to avoid being complete assholes. Use a different word obviously, but if your mega-toddler is roughing up some kid because he wants his toy – don't attack the mom. Teach your kid not to be an asshole. And tiny-toddler mom, please-please-please don't deny your kid the joy of sharing; encourage it. Yes, don't yank the toy out of her hands and hand it to ogre-toddler out of some strange obligation to communal ownership – but don't start with "You don't have to share if you don't want to honey," either. 

Sharing is a gift we teach our kids to give others, and it is a honorable and worthwhile action. It makes our world a better place. It is important. Don't worry; the world will beat the "mine" mentality into Alice and Jimmy without your encouragement. 

And yes, I like Very Bloggy Beth's closing idea that we need to teach our toddlers that they can get things through diligence, patience, and hard work. I think that is a wonderful lesson, and a great way to get things. Maybe it is a bit old-hat of me to say so, but on the off chance we want our kids to have friends, and not just things – perhaps we shouldn't cut sharing from the curriculum just yet.

(Yes, I've always wanted to say old-hat too).

Love, 

John (Dad)

P.S. This is not meant to be an attack on Very Bloggy Beth. I'm sure she is incredibly nice. I found her mommy blog and read some of her other posts. She is a kind, loving mom with adorable kids. I just disagree with the sharing post. Please go check out her blog and leave comments and compliments on the stuff you like. And feel free to tell me why I'm wrong in the comments below. 

Also, now that I have convinced you that sharing is awesome, be sure to come like the Ask Your Dad Facebook Page. I share there all the time :) Here, I'll even give you a button: 

114 comments:

  1. Sharing is a fundamental trait "most" parents want to instill in their kids. It's not the simple act of sharing, but the first step in being able to co-exist with others who may have similar needs and desires as you. I doubt anyone wants to raise a selfish little monster... but unfortunately these days with families opting for only 1 child, this sharing trait is slowly disappearing. More and more often I see children and teenagers who never learned to share turn into bullies who take what they want because they feel they are entitled to it.

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    1. Thanks for sharing Len! Ha! Get it! I am funny!

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    2. As an only child growing up who likes to think of herself as a very selfless adult, I think it is a false assumption to think that the fact that you have no siblings means that you're likely to be a poor sharer.

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    3. I agree, Stacey. I on the other hand, was an only child growing up but instead spend the majority of my time trying to do things for other people. Whether it be giving them a treat i just bought for myself because they look a bit down or going out of my way to do them a favour.

      However, perhaps rather bitterly (after all the bad stick we only children get), i have come to think that adults who have siblings say such things because they like to think the lessons they learned from having constant squabbles with their siblings growing up must have been good for something!

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    4. The point is not that only children are likely to be poor sharers, but that they have the *opportunity* to be poor sharers that children with siblings don't have. It's rather like saying that a person in a sedentary job is more likely to be obese than a person in a physical job. If all things were equal, in terms of calories eaten, activity level outside of work, metabolic rate etc - having a physical job would necessarily mean you were less obese than if you had a sedentary one. Similarly, if a person has no siblings, they are necessarily going to miss out on the opportunity to share with their siblings.

      If I wanted to spoil my child and give in to his every whim, and let him play with every toy he wanted at the moment he wanted to - I could do so (within my home at least), because he is an only child. If he had a sibling, it would be impossible for both of my children to get their own way all the time - at least one of them would not get the toy, because the other was using it. That is why there is a stereotype of the spoilt only child. NOT because only childen are usually spoilt, but because spoilt children usually don't have siblings. 'All crows are black birds, but not all black birds are crows.'

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    5. I agree in part to both. I try to instill a generous nature in my children, but at the same time I want it to be their choice. If you force a kid to share something that is very special (like my sons Bunny) he will share anything if approached nicely. Except, when it comes to his Bunny. He isn't mean but he will diligently explain why he doesn't wish to share it. I agree and understand and am proud of him for this behavior.

      There are those instances where another child doesn't ask and just takes off with his toy and my son will first try asking for it back nicely. If the child doesn't respond my son suddenly becomes obsessed with getting the toy back, first by explaining the "sharing" rules and that the other child should ask him. Sometimes this works, but more often he ends up getting into a toddler yelling/screaming match. When he feels right he takes a stand and doesn't back down. If this doesn't work I will ask the parent, if they are there, if they can please ask their child to return the toy. If no help from the parent is forthcoming then I will ask the child and usually get a result. I have never had it escalate beyond that.

      In conclusion, I believe everyone should be taught a willingness to give it makes us better people, but at the same time don't be bullied or shamed into sharing what you have with others. We should be WILLING not made to be generous, because if it's not from your heart it is relatively meaningless in the long run. Be kind but don't be a pushover.

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    6. Allow me to be politically incorrect for a moment and say that Chinese people (I know many) tend to act very entitled, and their parents give them - usually - everything they want. Their children are more whiny than average, and adults have a difficult time working as a team or making sacrifices. This is obviously not true of all of them! I know many delightful families. But a generational one child policy is hard to learn around, especially for those in China (I lived lived in China and Taiwan, and know many in the states as well).

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    7. I have to say as a middle child with MANY friends who were only children or have much older siblings, that agree with all of you as far as the "spoiled only child" thing. They are some of the most caring and giving I've known. I also completely agree with 5f750bb6-50c0-11e3-ae5d-000f20980440 about the sharing.

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    8. I disagree completely that spoiled children are usually only children. I think this is an example what John said about taking an adult trait and deciding it is due to some specific occurance in childhood. There are plenty of spoiled children who were treated with preference because they were the baby of the family, were the only boy or only girl, were sickly, etc. Also, I have found that kids who grew up constantly HAVING to share/split everything tend to be more reluctant to share because they are so damn sick of never having anything for themselves. They are lucky to get one popsicle when a box comes into the house, so hell no they won't share it. In my experience only children are eager to share because it is still fun to them, they have so much they don't mind spreading the wealth! Having something to give away is fun for many kids. My only child always immediately designates half the candy from her piñata bag for me (even though I do not like or want it...) and then starts setting some aside for friends. I used to nanny for an only child. When he was 4 I picked him up from daycare and he had been given 2 oreos for snack. As we walked out he handed one to me and said I could have it. I said "that is very sweet, but I don't want to take your snack, you can have it." He said "I don't need it, I have another one, see?" and showed me the other cookie. I was amazed that he WANTED to give up a whole cookie when he had only two in the first place! I didn't even want the darn thing, but he was so insistant that I ate it.

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    9. Young children can be very giving. I remember my son giving gum to his friends until there was none left in the pack. He said "oh no, I forgot to save one for myself!" One of the other kids looked down at his stick of gum, tore it in half and gave it back to my son. His face lit up and he said "thank you!" and they both went off grinning broader than any of the kids who had whole sticks of gum. Sharing does something good inside.

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    10. @Len, trust me : I know several selfish people who also happen to have siblings. Having siblings doesn't mean you're more inclined to be a selfless person....

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    11. As a child from a '1 child' family, I would have to say I'm one of the best sharers out. Children who come from '1 child' families never have to compete and snatch from their siblings as they've never had that competition for toys, food, attention etc. They are much calmer about the whole sharing process. The worst sharers I've seen are children from big families who 'stacks on' everytime something is offered. Nothing wrong with '1 child' families!!

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    12. @Ashley Nance, as a native Chinese, who grew up in China, I think you don't understand the whole story of my generation (first only-child generation) and my parents' generation. Yes, many Chinese kids are spoiled, but the reason is way more complex than the fact that we are only child. Our parents suffered a lot throughout their childhood and teenage years, famine, culture revolution, so on and so forth. So they really want to provide their children with the best and make sure their childhood is enjoyable, while they don't have the knowledge of properly educating their kids. This way, they will try everything they can to spoil their kids no matter how many kids they have. Another reason for our generation to be more selfish and can't work with others as the team, was due to extreme competition caused by the large population sharing limited resource. Growing up, it was all about competition and try to fight for the best, because if you don't you lose. The almost brutal competition made most of us always think about ourselves first, which was again not caused by the only-child policy. Last but not the least, almost all of my Chinese friends do love to share with friends and families (maybe not so much with strangers). So I don't think you should make such a stereotypical or even racist comment on an entire population.

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    13. I only have one child & although yes we have what I think are more than usual sharing issues he is not a bully. Far from it actually, he seems to have become a major target for bullies in school. Not because he doesn't share or is shy or has a hard time making friends since he's my only child, but as far as I can tell because of another issue that can surface with a single child, I sheltered him. My mistake yes, a common mistake with an only child, but as the middle child of 3 I can assure you raising & being an only child have jut as many issues as larger families, it's not simply black & white, one's right one's wrong.

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    14. Eeks, I am Chinese but don't live in China or Taiwan or Hong Kong, and while I agree that many of the Chinese from these lands are supremely arrogant and self-centered, please don't lump the rest of us with them. If you must you can say the Chinese in (whichever country) but there are plenty of us elsewhere who have much better manners, thank you very much. (I'm from Singapore by the way - my ancestors from 3 generations back were from China but since then we are completely Singaporean and brought up way better than that.

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    15. I'm going to assume you meant to contribute something of value with your comment. but you did preface it with "allow me to be politically incorrect" which is a lot like saying " I don't mean to sound racist but"

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  2. Also, diligence and hard work won't get those toys if the initial kid is off cranking out a 40 minute poo. Patience will, so I guess Beth wins.

    One of the things Beth doesn't address is that, sure, to toddlers, toys are serious business. But they're TOYS. We need to be teaching kids that toys are just playthings, and sure, you like them a whole lot, but if you're at daycare or parenting co-op, or whatever - that's THEIR toy. If you've got your own toy and don't want to share, that's fine. Look man, I understand: you bring your transformer to co-op and some bigger kid starts playing with it and breaks it, and understandably so, it's the end of the world for you. But if you're borrowing a toy from the school and another kid wants a go at it? Sorry bro, but just fucking share.

    What they need to learn at the parenting co-op (besides the humbleness of PARENTS LEARNING TOO) is how to encourage sharing without making a kid feel like he's simply giving up a toy. This is going to sound stupid, but a helpful phrase I've heard (and used) is "why don't you show ______ how to use that one?" Or "Hey can you show ______ the cool thing that toy can do and let him try?" Then if you want to tack on extra points, you add in "which other toy would work in a game with that one? Go grab that and let's try." You've turned confrontation into empowerment and engagement and - GASP - made the kids play together, instead of independently with their own toys.

    Now, okay, see, Beth, I get it. I'm at work right now in MY cubicle on MY computer next to MY phone with MY coffee. If someone came up and wanted my coffee, it'd be (number one, a deathwish) weird. Because adults don't share EVERYTHING. But that's because we're adults and understand the difference between functional tools and playtime toys. When I go home, I'm going to play video games. If my wife or son want to play, I'll say "sure, hop on in!" It's a toy - I'll share it. Beth's example of an adult cutting in line doesn't usually pass at a preschool either; usually when a teacher asks that kids get in line, if they see someone trying to cut, the kid gets the "everyone has to wait their turn" talk. And further, if someone said "hey man, I left my phone at home, do you mind if I call my wife real quick?" I'd say "sure, no problem!" And again, if someone said "hey I left my sunglasses at home and am going to pick up lunch, can I use yours?" I'd think it's weird, but I'd say "yeah why not!" It doesn't make him an asshole or me a pushover. It shows that I am putting people over possessions. And if I needed my phone or sunglasses myself at that moment, I can say "shucks, I would let you, but I'm about to go out and pick up lunch myself." See? Fucking interaction. None of this "I'M LEAVING MY CUBICLE, MAKE SURE NO ONE TOUCHES MY STUFF."

    I bet Beth hates it when her husband picks up her plate after dinner to bring it to the sink. "Hey asshole! That's MY plate and you don't fucking TOUCH it."

    See, I can extend non sequitur examples too!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Omfg. Thisssss! Yes!

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    3. Please post this response to fb!! A great logical reply.

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    4. Best recount of the situations yet!!

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    5. Zach, had to jump in when you wrote "If someone came up and wanted MY cubicle on MY computer next to MY phone with my coffee,".. Unless you actually own, the business, which you might, in reality, the own thing that's YOURS is the coffee. (and maybe your own phone).

      In in the early 80s (yep I'm old), when not all of had computers at our desk, one nasty wench wouldn't let anyone use "her" computer because it was "hers." We had to go to HR to remind her it the computer was owned by the agency. It got moved to a shared work station and we all got to use it - productivity increased, and HR realized they needed to buy more.

      I think this mom has it wrong. Sharing - at the appropriate age - offers opportunities for a child to learn so many other life lessons. Awareness of others, how to connect with people, etc. She and this school are taking it way off base.

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    6. Like much of life, sharing is situational and doesn't fit into a yes/no box. Teaching children that sharing in some situations is reasonable and in other situations is wrong makes them think before acting, a lesson missed by many adults. Also teach them that sharing is a two-way street. If you are willing to share under the right circumstances, then you are entitled to ask others to share with you. The whats-mine-is-mine-how-dare-you-ask attitude that Bloggy Beth seems to espouse - hopefully she isn't teaching total selfishness, just being self-defensive about entitlement attitudes - is actually harmful behaviour. Once others learn that you are strictly anti-sharing, you can't expect them to be helpful when the shoe is on the other foot! Everyone needs things from others, that is what makes a society. And when your cell phone breaks and you need to make an urgent call, do you have to go to the cell phone store FIRST, because you won't stoop to forcing someone to share yours because you are entitled? In a world of limited resources, some sharing is absolutely necessary - but it should be both mutually voluntary AND situational. As the Sage once said: "Rules are a necessary substitute for common sense"

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    7. GREAT response Zach LOL. I couldn't put into words what I was feeling and there you have it! ;)

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    8. Clearly none of you have a background in early childhood edu. I do and I think the idea of not forcing children to give up a toy before they are ready is brilliant. It can take children over an hour to fully explore and understand a toy and all its functionality. By making them give it up before they are ready you are severely inhibiting their learning process. Daycares have plenty pf toys. While a disagree with beths premise that forced sharing leads to spoiled selfish adults I do fully believe allowing our children to remain in possession of a toy until they are done with it is the best thing we can do for them from an educational standpoint.

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    9. Really, Anon? I have a background in several levels of education so that makes me qualified to disagree with you, right? I won't disagree with the premise that it can take a child over an hour to fully explore a toy and its functionality. I take issue with your assertion that "By making them give it up before they are ready you are severely inhibiting their learning process." Really? Severely inhibiting, huh? Because children don't actually learn better when exposed to things several times in short bursts rather than only one time for a really long period? You should know the answer to that question with your background in early childhood education. Furthermore, there is more to be learned from playing with toys than just a toys functionality, like social intelligence skills: how to interact with others, sharing, taking turns, what belongs to me, what belongs to us, see Zach's original reply.

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    10. Zach, that was so awesome wrote down your sharing suggestions to use with my child. I love the idea of re-framing it as a way to play together instead of having to give up a toy. I wish more bloggers had helpful advice like this.

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  3. I have teenagers, ranging from 13 - 18. I didn't require they share their toys with perfect strangers on the playground. But neither did I allow them to demand someone else's toy. They shared plenty, in and out of school, they've squabbled, stomped, threw a fit. *shrug* Welcome to kids.

    All kids must learn they don't get to keep it just because they put a hand on it. At the same time, you don't go to some random parent and bitch at them for not forcing their kid to give up a favored toy.

    Balance people! Nor do any of my kids cut in line, expect to be given whatever they point at, or to walk out of college with a six figure salary and company car.

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  4. Spiffing reasoning, sir. Top-hole! I shall elaborate forthwith.

    Did you notice that VBB's emphasis is on what a no-sharing policy teaches the child without the toy. Yeah, so maybe it does teach them that they can't have everything they want just because they want it - but that's hardly a lesson in short supply. Parents generally know that giving a kid everything they want isn't a good idea - so PARENTS say no to kids all.the.time. Why add another 'no' when what is being asked for is something that it is emminently reasonable? Wanting to play with a toy at a playgroup is not unreasonable! Why not teach kids about disappointment when they ask for chocolate at bedtime, or to wear their swimming costume in the snow?

    Now, what does the no-sharing policy teach the kid WITH the toy? Nothing. They don't get to learn that they have the right to keep their possessions, because they don't understand that sharing is even an option. Sharing builds the groundwork for learning to play together. You can't play with another child without sharing. Think of how much more fun you can have with a ball if you share than if you want to keep it for yourself!

    Making a kid share is completely different from teaching them to share. I actually agree that no kid should be forced or shamed into sharing THEIR OWN toys. But when the toys are not theirs - then sharing is a great opportunity to teach them how the world works. To use VBB's examples - a line at the grocery store IS sharing. That's turn-taking. (Like you do with the slide at the playgroup. Or does one child play on that on their own until they are bored and another child can have a turn?) And most adults WOULD lend an item, such as sunglasses or a phone, to a friend. Her examples, cutting in line, taking another person's phone - are not about sharing - they are about taking! Sharing is ALL ABOUT teaching empathy for others. About NOT just taking/holding onto something because you can.

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    1. This. All of this. You add some pretty awesome points there, my friend. Look out John, this guy is gunning for your non-paying job. Also, bonus points for using the words spiffing, top-hole and forthwith.

      Stevie (aka wife of John)

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    2. Not a guy, but still super awesome. Nicky writes Metaphors and Mammaries (http://metaphorsandmammaries.blogspot.com/) which I assume means she has mammaries :)

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    3. Aw shucks! I'm blushing here, guys. Thanks (And yep, not a guy.)

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    4. Love this discussion. The important
      differentiation is between private possessions and public works, I think. Sharing and taking turns is hard and everyone needs to learn how to do it. If it were easy, we wouldn't need traffic lights.

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    5. I said this on another comment but I'll add it here since no one on this post seems to have any background in early childhood edu. But you're so wrong it's not even funny. The child not being forced to share learns a great deal. It can take young children an hour or more to fully explore a toy and get all the learning benefits they can from it. By making them give it up before they decide they are ready you are severly limiting valuable learning experiences and inhibiting their mental growth.

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    6. Where does Anon get off making assumptions about peoples educational and career backgrounds? If you've been in teaching for any length of time you should realize that there are many different teaching philosophies within education and academia. Perfectly well educated and professionally experienced people disagree with each other all the time...like now. Me to you. Because, even though I disagree with you, I don't assume you are a complete idiot without any valid life experience that allows you to speak to the matter in question.

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    7. eloquently said Nickycky I might just quote you... if you can share your words.... Who knows maybe VBB would frown upon that too?

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  5. Possibly already said, but my take on her blog was that the first example was a kid bringing a toy from home to the park- I don't think he has to share that, and the mom basically insulting the mom of non-sharer was really rude. The second example was a public play thing, and just laughing from the side lines as her kid hogged the toy was wrong. She tried to justify it by saying there were similar toys available, but the same could he said about her kid.

    If this kid keeps not sharing and getting away with it, isn't it possible he will feel entitled too?

    Short version- I agree we need a happy medium between over-sharing, and hogging things.

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  6. I feel this is one of those issues where there are no absolutes. It's contextual and developmental. I have never forced my son to share. I might point out another child wants what he is playing with, or I might remind him that it's more fun to play with someone. I try to model good behavior by sharing my things and I'm charitable with my belongings and my time. But, I never take a toy out of my child's hand and give it to another child (unless that toy belongs to the other child). My son is entitled to enjoy playing with a toy without constant vigilance against another person coming along and forcing him to give it up. My child's needs and wants are just as important as another child and he shouldn't feel compelled to always make the sacrifice. That being said, my son frequently shares of his own volition. He is very good about others playing with his toys, sharing wen he sees other kids want what he has, and he will often make trades or even later find the kid that wanted the toy he was playing with and give it to them when he is done. My son is 3 years old. I think that's pretty good. I think he has learned to share, not out of simple compulsion, but because he knows it makes others feel good & he gets satisfaction out of that.

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  7. Yes! Yay for balance and learning to share. I especially like the "toddler shuffle." I could watch it all day.

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  8. I think you're over-reacting to her post. It doesn't sound to me like she doesn't encourage her kid to NOT share, but rather that she tries to find a balance.

    Yes, kids should share. But yes, they also should be able to set certain boundaries, which sometimes include "I'm playing with this, so you can't take it from me, just because YOU want it. You can have a turn when I'm finished with it. (Which, at this age, is probably 5 minutes from now.)"

    There are times when a kid NEEDS to feel like they've got ownership over certain things. For example, your body. Also, personally think that once a kid has food on his plate (assuming he didn't hog it all) that's a pretty good boundary. "This is my food, and you can't have it unless I DECIDE to share" Some manuals suggest that if a playdate is happening, you let kids pick 2 or 3 toys they're not willing to share, and put them aside until after the playdate. Is this awful? Does this mean they're not sharing? Or does it mean that, hey, these are mine, and for some reason, these are important to me. I don't want to share them. It may seem silly to us that the kid doesn't want to share his green car today, but someday that can translate into healthy boundaries and an understanding that some things are for sharing, and others don't have to be - rather than a sense of guilt and that one should always share no matter what.

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    1. Hi Peter! I replied to this comment on Reddit, but I'll post the reply here to. Thanks for leaving a comment on the blog BTW :)

      I agree with everything you've written here. I don't think I say anything to the contrary in my post. My issues aren't with kids wanting to assert ownership over their bodies, food, toys. It's the general tone of her whole piece. The subtitle is "SHOULD YOU TEACH KIDS TO SHARE?" and to that I say, yes. Yes you should.

      I definitely was on a rant when I wrote my post, and some parts are over the top - even over-reacting. I admit that in the piece. But I stand by my point. She cherry picks two random examples of poor behavior by toddlers and adults and uses that as the basis for her argument. She makes generalizations about an entire generation on the basis of something she has no way to prove. I.E. kids these days feel so entitled because they were forced to share when they were toddlers.

      This part of your comment caught my eye.

      "rather than a sense of guilt and that one should always share no matter what."

      I agree with this wholeheartedly. Forced sharing isn't sharing. It's taking. I advocate for a more balanced approach towards the end post - not forced sharing. You may not have gotten there because my snark caused you to click away (totally understandable). I say:

      "A no sharing policy is as ridiculous as a mandatory you-must-share-everything policy. Discouraging Jimmy from even asking to play with Alice's toy train is as dumb as telling Alice that she has to give it to him if he asks. We should be encouraging both! Let them interact. Let them learn to negotiate. Let them squabble a bit. Don't make Jimmy sit on the side of the playground and wait for Alice to walk away from her ball. There will be plenty of time to be awkward and antisocial in high school!"

      TLDR: I agree with you.

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  9. I usually tell my kids they don't HAVE to share, but if they do... it is very likely they will have more friends, and more fun. If they're being a greedy little asshole about it though, I will MAKE them share. Sometimes I'll even take the toy in question and give it to the kid that was eying it and make my own kid go sit in timeout and tell them to think about how they would feel if someone treated them the way they were just treating their friend. Maybe we're not talking about teaching our kids about sharing? Maybe we're talking about trying to teach them not to be assholes? Just a thought...

    BTW my kids are generally not assholes. Just thought you should know.

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  10. Since you asked...

    I think you unfairly misrepresent her perspective when you summarize her post as "why kids shouldn't be encouraged to share" and her co-op policy as one "THAT DISCOURAGES SHARING". And worst of all, "She is going to teach her kids not to share..." From a logical standpoint, that's like saying my parents discouraged me from becoming a doctor because they didn't proactively *encourage* it. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

    In my opinion, she's much more concerned about kids feeling they have a right to take something from other kids, which, by corollary, is about whether the other party should be forced to share it. She then projects this into adult behavior, which I agree with you is a few steps too far. Clearly, she's frustrated by the sense of entitlement she sees among the younger generations and creates a causal link between the two, rightly or wrongly. Despite the subtitle, she doesn't really have much to say about sharing, other than not thinking it should be forced on kids...which is more a statement about coercion than sharing.

    So there's a lot that's not said in her post. Maybe there actually is plenty of voluntary sharing at her co-op (which would not be ironic at all, by the way, since forced sharing isn't really sharing at all). Maybe she encourages her son to share when there isn't a surplus of toys and moms don't act passive-aggressively. I think we should give her the benefit of the doubt.

    (On a personal note, this struck close to home for me. My wife used to take issue, not with the things I said, but with what she heard, which she often admitted was very different than what I said. I think if you re-read VBB's post, you'll find that she takes no stance on whether kids should be encouraged to share.)

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    1. I just realized you replied to a similar comment to mine above...Oops!

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    2. Adam!

      Well written. Well said. I appreciate you pointing out some pretty valid flaws in my summation of her post. I definitely filled in the blanks with some of my own assumptions, and I think you pointing them out adds a lot to the conversation. So thanks!

      My buffet-o-snark was definitely influenced as much by the conversations I've seen surrounding the post as it was by the post itself - yet a lay most of the blame at Bloggy Beth. That's probably not fair.

      I guess I just take issue with how she points out the "bad" behavior of other kids (a whole generation to be specific)yet has little to no self reflection on her or her child's behavior. And she oversimplifies the topic. Granted, "teach your kids not to be assholes" is pretty oversimplified too. So... yeah... I could argue with myself on this one too.

      Anyway! Bottom line. Thank you for disagreeing with parts of my post. It makes me think, and that makes me a better writer and a better dad. You're welcome to call me out any time.

      John

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    3. Isn't it funny how consistent people are in taking credit when things go well and blaming others when things go badly? I think we're just hardwired that way.

      Anyway, thanks for sharing the topic. I'm a new dad and *very new* to the parent blogs, and I'm really enjoying yours. Keep up the good work!

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  11. The thing I really liked about that article, isn't necessarily her views, but the fact that it made people stop and think about how they handled a certain parenting situation and realized that there is more than one way of doing things. I think we all just rack up the mom guilt and think "our kid has to be perfect and do what all these other kids are doing well" sharing being one of them. This article gave permission for moms to stop and think "what is it that works best for me?". One of the greatest things about our generation is that we're not afraid to break out of the old ways and try something new because we see the research and are trying harder than ever to do the actual best thing instead of the traditional "best thing". For me personally, I find that I really do a combination. I don't encourage my kids to be assholes, but I also acknowledge that they each have feelings that should be validated. The validation is what is important, not the act. For example, if my son has an item he really wants to play with and my daughter comes up and takes it from him and I force him to let her because I'm "teaching him to share", what I'm doing is causing him to get defensive and he forgets all about sharing and only thinks about how he is wronged. But when my daughter comes up to him and takes it, he screams, I may ask something like "does that make you upset when she takes that thing?" and of course he says yes, so I turn to Audrey and say something like "do you see how that made Nate sad when you took that?" and I encourage her to give it to him so he can finish what he is doing. When I do that, he willingly gives it to her (of course this isn't every time because I'm not the goddess of patience). I'm just making the point that forcing a child to do something will only teach them how to be defensive and angry, but there are many other ways to teach them to share that are less invasive. I think it depends on the situation and the child. I don't agree that you're teaching your child things that are going to carry over as adults. That's insane. But I like that this article got people thinking about alternative ways to parent that are more peaceful and less controlling.

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    1. This sounds like a very nice, balanced approach. I like it. Encouraged sharing and helping them think through the reasoning is optimal for sure. I think there are times when forced sharing is necessary though.

      For instance, we go to a park with a water pad by our house. It has a water cannon in the middle of it. Duchess will camp on that cannon for the entire day if I let her. She will not tire of it. The rest of the kids love it too. So, inevitably, she has to be forced to share it. Now when I say forced, I don't mean that I forcibly remove her from the water cannon. OK, once I did - but that was after a good five minutes of espousing the virtues of sharing.

      Which brings me to a larger point that I think all parents can relate to. All of this "parenting theory" is great and valuable to talk, write, and comment about - but when we're in the trenches and actually parenting, things are different.

      Saying "I'm never going to" is one of the most futile things a parent can do. Sure, there can be some absolutes. I'll never freeze my kid in carbonite and sell her to Jabba the Hut. But most things live in a grey area where actions are determined by the severity of the situation.

      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for your comment!

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  12. Picture it, 1994, The Backstreet Boys are yet to break teen girls hearts and I am 22. Yet to have pregnancy wear and tear on my body, an active social life and I can eat whatever i want and not gain a.......Sorry I digress! Right 1994 and I am about to quit working at the day care I was an assistant at. I got into the work because I love children. Then it got all analytical.

    Adult concepts put onto these young kids. The straw that broke it for me, was colouring books. We would no longer have colouring books because the children would see the perfect pictures in these books, say a dog, and fall into an abyss of dismay due to their inability to draw a dog to the same level. So as to not destroy their self esteem or artistic talent, we would do away with the offensive colouring in book!!

    Now this descision wasn't based on a poll of 3-5year olds, it was what the adults perceived!
    I for one loved my crayola and colouring book time, truth be told I can dabble in adulthood too occasionally......Do I think it stunted my brilliant artistic career?!? Nope, it was the "Not having the talent part" that did that....
    Now we have the adult take on childhood sharing (Gosh when we were little we took turns having a bath and used the same bath water! How's that for sharing!!) and attachment parenting and quiet frankly it makes for a scary future society......Kids that don't share and feel like they are entitled to be the centre of the Universe.....
    Now it might be silly talk due to having lead paint on my cot or the odd fall from the playground onto the BITUMEN soft fall......but it seems to me some of us are making parenting harder than it needs to be and working as a teacher aide now I see staff constantly shaking their heads at the attitudes on some of these kids...........

    Gets down off soap box and goes in search of 22 year old self photos, sigh!

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  13. Right so we teach the kids how not to be "entitled" by entitling them.
    Sound like politically motivated logic.

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    1. Not sure what you mean Dan. Mind elaborating?

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    2. "In your child's adult life, he's going to think he's owed everything he sees. This is already happening in the next generation."
      I see this as a complaint about the the sense of being entitled to something. entitlement being a politically motivated word these days.

      the idea there is that kids not getting what they want will prevent that sense of entitlement. But the way the not sharing teaches this is by making sure they get what they want by entitling them to the object. its nonsensical.

      No matter. the whole thing is junk. its sociological "common sense" which is almost always wrong.
      anytime people say we should do things in a certain way based on how they think one social action effects another is on the wrong path unless they have some kind of useful data that gives evidence to the effects.

      there is nothing there but the authors thoughts on the matter. All of the meat of the why it should work is useless data.
      It likely should be discarded as just that.

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  14. If it is someone's personal toy,,, I get it to an extent. However, when it comes to playground equipment I say absolutely not. Swings & monkey bars are there for everyone and as far as toy watchers watching out for things while kids are going to the bathroom i'll just say what my mom use to say to me, "You cruise, you lose."

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  15. another perspective on sharing that has been useful for me:
    http://www.handinhandparenting.org/news/6/64/It-s-Mine-All-About-Sharing

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  16. I work with kindergartners for two hours every work day, and we have some sharing rules. The kids came up with: You can't say "You can't play." which is great when they're playing with the classroom's toys, but this doesn't mean that the person who wants to play gets to have everything their own way either. They're also expected to allow someone else to look at a book with them, but the person who picked it up first gets to hold it! They understand the concept of sharing the books and toys doesn't mean giving the item to the other person and not getting to use it themselves. They're supposed to play together. We also try to make sure that the kids understand the difference between someone's personal stuff, like crayons or markers brought from home, and the classroom supplies. The classroom supplies must be shared; they're for everyone, and everyone must take care of them. Someone's personal supplies may be shared, if the child wishes to. That goes along with the rule about coloring on another person's paper: you don't touch someone else's paper unless they say it's ok.

    Somehow, these rules seem to make sense to all the children and they've embraced them. They actually get the concept of shared/communal stuff and personal stuff, and that the rules are different for them. That might be difficult for toddlers, but you can't start too early! I'd be very concerned about the kids from this co-op when they get to school; no one will be guarding their toys then!

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  17. “On Sharing “I’m sorry, but if your brother doesn’t want you to play with his shit, then you can’t play with it. It’s his shit. If he wants to be an asshole and not share, then that’s his right. You always have the right to be an asshole—you just shouldn’t use that right very often.” ― Justin Halpern, Sh*t My Dad Says
    So a friend posted this last night, and I totally agree. Sorry for the language, but I guess not everyone can be as creative and awesome with their use of expletives as you! Hats off to you sir! Your insights are a breath of freash air!

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  18. Oh my aching head. I'd like to see all parents take a big step back, a big breath, a stiff drink, and let kIds be kids. You want nice kIds? Be nice. One who shares? Share. Kids look more to adults for understanding than they do other kids. No guarantees, but it puts soms good odds in your corner.

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  19. Oh my aching head. I'd like to see all parents take a big step back, a big breath, a stiff drink, and let kIds be kids. You want nice kIds? Be nice. One who shares? Share. Kids look more to adults for understanding than they do other kids. No guarantees, but it puts soms good odds in your corner.

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    1. See Kate run? More like See Kate be right!

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  20. I work with kindergartners for two hours every work day, and we have some sharing rules. The kids came up with: You can't say "You can't play." which is great when they're playing with the classroom's toys, but this doesn't mean that the person who wants to play gets to have everything their own way either. but you can't start too early! I'd be very concerned about the kids from this co-op when they get to school; no one will be guarding their toys then!
    http://www.sexyeveningdelights.com

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  21. Sharing is socialism. FU, got mine.

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  22. My rule at home or at a play date is, you dont take things out if others hands. If you want to play with it you have to ask and if the other is still playing with it we set an egg timer for 4 min. Then it goes to the other kid. Then back and forth til they get board with it. Works well. No instant gradifacation for one and no forced sharing dor the other.

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  23. My husband is an only child, whereas I was one of four kids. I had to share everything and he had to share nothing growing up. It has literally taken years of our relationship for me to "train" him into sharing things with me (e.g a taste of his meal at a restaurant!). This makes him sound like a spoilt brat but I totally get where it comes from. Please make sure kids learn to share. It's an everyday skill and makes life more fun!

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  24. I like your post and agree with you. I too was surprised at how many people supported this mommy's non-sharing policy banter on Facebook. I hadn't fully read her post until recently, because I knew that anything titled " why I don't make my son share" may be a little one-sided. A relative of mine was adamant I should read it so I finally did. The author makes some good points about jerky parents (types that I too have encountered), but as I had feared, the author's opinion is not balanced. I have two young boys; both are very different personalities. My first Son looks and acts much like me. My husband and I were both concerned about just how passive he was as a toddler. Other kids would hit him and take his toys repeatedly (one in particular) and he would totally allow it with no retaliation. We taught that son to better stand up for himself and exemplified being assertive in such situations so he wouldn't get stepped on (in a non-jerky way). I am proud to say he is now appropriately assertive (in a non-jerky way). My second son came from a completely different mold then the first and he is more like his father was as a child (far too "assertive" at times). Teaching him to share has been difficult but as you say it is important so I continue to work on it. I believe that for my child who sharing doesn't come natural too it is essential that he learn this skill for his future in social situations as an adult. It would be easier for me to just say my second boy doesn't have to learn this life skill. But that would be like not teaching my first to stand up for himself. Guess what, these tricky situations are part of being a young parent!

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  25. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. I've got to jump in...sometimes the behavior "sharing" creates in adults is the irksome part of the whole ordeal of raising children. I'm in my 50's now and still remember my sister-in-law jerking toys away from my son because his cousin had SHRIEKED when he took it. Funny thing though, I, and several of the people who witnessed this situation ENDLESSLY knew the real truth...the child who shrieked had originally taken the toy from my son first. AHA! Several people told me they had noticed this and I should say something, but I never did...still...I remember it, and remember how rudely the 30+ year old sister-in-law would jerk the toy away from my son and give it back to her own child. Isn't it funny that the louder child of the more obnoxious mother is usually the one who benefits from sharing???

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    1. Totally. I agree. I don't think the "everyone gets everything as long as they want it with no exceptions" rule is the solution to that problem though. Why deny children the chance to interact and work out these social cues just because we want to get rid of a few playground conflicts. Conflict is good. Kids need it. Manage the conflict to make sure it is positive and not damaging. Don't aim to eliminate it.

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  28. Wow! It is amazing what sharing or not sharing can bring out....well I am SHARING my thoughts..please forgive if offense is taken...I spent 25 years trying to instill into 2 year old the meaning of sharing...when it comes to toys or playing games sharing is a part of their job....this is not just about objects it is about coexisting in a common space...communicating ideas...working with another to help a third....it is endless...kind of like the air we breath....what one exhales another is going to inhale

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  29. How many times you read the post about not sharing? you didn't understand it yet. That is because in English you use the word share for things that you are not actually sharing. Except if you consider sharing the time.
    Taking a toy out of somebody that is enjoying it to give it to another one that has seen the enjoyment is not sharing. It is taking away some thing and give it to some body else for no better reason.

    Children have to learn to WAIT for their turn and RESPECT others while they are interested. If they get frustrated, that is the rule in our society, and it is FAIR. It is not the rule in the adult society to TAKE AWAY things from one person to give it to another. Then it is UNFAIR and the frustration goes to the person that had to give up something so it is not called selfish. While a capricious boy that wants everything that every other child is enjoying and makes a bit of a drama will get always what he wants.
    Sharing is different, it can be enjoyable and can be fun, but playing alone when you are a toddler and explore your toy alone is also a basic need.
    And learning to wait and respect others is also a basic lesson to be learned as soon as possible.

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    1. Good points. I think I addressed a lot of them last year when I originally wrote the post and responded to comments. Hop up to the top of the comments section and see some of my responses there. Thanks for your comment!

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  30. So you wrote a blog bitching about how you disagree with someone who wrote another blog.... I think I'll write a blog about how big of a tool you sound like.

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    1. Ha! Sounds like you've summed it up nicely. I don't know if a whole blog post is warranted. But if you do write one, send me the link. I would love to read it. Maybe I'll write a post about your post about my post about that other post. Cheers!

      -John

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  31. My favorite part of this post was the "Atlas Shrugged" reference. I liked the rest of it, though, too.

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  32. I've read both blogs and some of the reply comments and an idea keeps nagging at me while I consider both sides of the issue. I am a mother of three (grown) and grandmother of three, so I have struggled with this issue quite often. Either scenario results in a lose-win situation for the children involved and I wonder if there is yet another strategy to the sharing dilemma. I refer to the "joy of sharing" idea, and rather than teaching it in the moment of struggle over the item in question, why not look for other opportunities to teach sharing to toddlers. Sharing is after all a result of empathy and compassion, so how about activities that focus on the reason that sharing can be joyful. One activity that comes to mind is taking your child shopping for the "Toys For Tots" and similar drives. Tell them that they are helping you pick out a great toy that will be given to a less fortunate child and involve them in the entire process. That's just one idea, but I'm sure that the brilliant minds out there can think of a hundred more.

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  33. Dear John.... I have always wanted to write that, though I promise this comment gets a little better. I agree with you! I love your sarcasm and you addressed so many important things. Why again do we need selfish toddlers saving the world from "share-enabled" (Love that phrase!) kids! Is the world not cold and harsh enough? -sigh- I don't get Beths view at all. I wrote my own rebuttal before I found yours. Admittedly, I like yours better. You have photos! I also just went and added a link to this post as well on my own. Hope that is ok? :) http://www.littlecrunchy.com/2014/06/a-rebuttal-to-why-i-dont-make-my-son-share.html

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  34. I'm an immigrant to the US and came from a (3rd world) less-developed country...I have a ton of cultural differences both good and bad and one of them is parenting. I have a 2 year old. He's a happy little boy, only child, and going through the "terrible two's" (I still don't get what that is by the way)... He got bit in daycare twice for taking someone else's toy forcefully. The teacher said that they wrote the other child and will summon the parents to the administrators' office to talk about the repercussions if this happens again. Why? I should be thankful that my son learned a painful lesson of not taking somebody else's toy! (twice!) Besides, they are toddlers... To me, they have no sense of ownership yet... They see a toy, they like to play with it. If they cannot have it, they will bawl their little head off until they do. 5 mins later, they see another toy and forget about the first one...
    I think the parents are just too much involved in their children's lives where they will involve other parents and question their type of parenting because it's not the same as theirs. Just let the kids be kids and learn their life lessons on their own. Our job is to guide them, not govern them.

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  35. This paragraph below has nothing to do with sharing. IMO the concept of sharing isn't about letting a child have something simply because he wants it. It's called *sharing*. You might play with something for a while, but then you share that toy because it's the nice thing to do and other kids probably want to play with it too! Now with a toy you brought to the park--that's yours--you don't have to share it! And if it's an issue, don't bring it. I always tell my son (yes, gasp! an only child who I'm trying to raise as NOT a bratty only child!) if you don't want others asking you for it and then you having to share your toys, then don't bring them to the park!

    I think this author has a weird definition of sharing. I don't view sharing as "stepping all over people to get things." It's just something nice to do, ya know?!

    "I don't agree with the approach of the mothers in either of these situations. I think it does a child a great disservice to teach him that he can have something that someone else has, simply because he wants it. And I can understand the desire to give your children everything they want; we all have it. But it's a good lesson for you both to learn that this isn't always possible, and you shouldn't step all over other people to get these things."

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    1. I've found that setting a time limit on sharing toys in playgroups (if there's a queue) teaches children to share without the wrenching away of favoured toys to others. It also teaches awareness of time. If there's a clock, (there usually is) then you show them when they must share and also when they may play with a toy. Children who can't tell the time were shown when the hand gets to 'there', you share/get the toy. It worked really well and the children accepted this with a sense of fairness!

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  36. Your blog influenced me to start one of my own.

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  37. This is so true as we grow up we learn not to share but as a child learning how to share made me the very selfless person i am always helping people!! And if I see someone with 3 upset kids behind me in the grocery store I let them go ahead I open doors for my elders and do many things that are common courtesy and that I learned from my mom and dad I had 2 siblings and sharing was hard but I am glad I learned it it makes me a great person today! I also teach my children to share and be respectful of other children and their toys! I teach sharing to one extent and not in other ways!! As an example when my nephew comes over my kids are obligated to share all their toys from the toy box if they're special toys we put them up out of sight out of mind, and if they are playing with a certain toy that doesn't need to be shared until said kid is done playing with it!!! But if they have 20 cars and say no get lost I intervene and tell them to divide the cars up each picking one at a time till they are evenly distributed and then they play nice with them till they become bored!! Like I said sharing and not sharing go hand in hand and they need to learn both equally to grow into wonderful individuals that have beliefs in helping and sharing with others!! This world is selfish enough so let's start teaching kids the good and selflessness that we can be proud of!!

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  38. You inferred that the co-op policy "has stymied sharing to the point that it is rarely requested." You could just as easily conclude that they stop throwing fits because they've learned to accept "no" for an answer without throwing a tantrum about it, to be patient and understanding towards a real life concept: you can't always have what someone else has simply because you want it. The situation at the co-op is reciprocal and I think the kids can learn the value of sharing when they RECEIVE "no" for an answer. Acknowledge and discuss your child's emotion when they are given "no" as a response, and do the same with your child regarding the other child's emotion when your kid gives "no" as a response. They're smart and I don't believe that sympathy is beyond their cognition. Soon your kid may decide to share to spare their friend the unpleasant feelings that come along with being told "No." That is the whole point of sharing, to appease the other person despite the effect it may have on your contentment. Selflessness. Both sharing extremes are unsavory; you don't just force them into a behavior, you want them to understand why it's a good idea to CHOOSE to behave that way. My child is 2 and a half and shares even without it being requested of her; I never forced her to share. I did exactly what I stated above. It seems she's decided it sucks when people don't share with her, so she shares with them...not always, but most of the time.

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  39. It sounds like you agree with her notion but do criticize the tone in which she is using. Yes, sharing is fantastic when it comes to charity, donations and helping out friends and family. But let me ask you this, when you are a restaurant with your family and let's say someone (child/adult) came up and said "I want what you're having!" would you agree to give that person your food. Absolutely NOT! There is something about "being nice and fair" that we do want to teach our children, but in circumstances where your child does not want to give something up that they have, I do see it okay to say "NO!" Yes I did put it in bold letters because children tend to use there emotions to drive their words. Now I do see a parent intervening and telling the child to be more courteous about how they do speak with others, but I do not see where it is okay to always push giving to others. I am a mother of an 11 year old, 7 year old and 2 year old and I have two step sons. I have had my "fair" share of this within my home and rest assured that I do see both sides of the puzzle...but I have learned that you do not always get what you want and teaching your children this will help them in the future. Thank you!

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  40. Everyone should share.... maybe if us as adults showed that to our own children a lil more maybe it wouldnt have to be taught... and maybe the world would be a lil nicer... but that will never happen!

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  41. Hypothetically speaking (since obviously this will never happen to ANY parent) you are enjoying a nice iced water on a Sumer day and your child comes up for a drink. Occording to your child rearing "lodgic" you must not share with a thirsty child because THAT is life.

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  42. *Summer and "logic" got all fired up and can't edit the post

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  43. Fully agree. Thank you. I read bloggy beths post and was too tired to 'get involved' thank you for a perfect response.

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  44. THANK YOU!!! (I don't know why I'm yelling, lol)
    After reading the original blog post, I found myself doing the two handed "why?!" gesture as well. I thought it was a bit crazy ..... then I scrolled to the "comment" section & found that there were so many people that agreed with her.... What's happening here. Granted, in a society filled with bloggers & facebook posts... your always going to find at least 2 people who agree on some crazy notion but I was really dumbfounded. "Sharing". It's one of the most important social lessons you learn as a child. It's not just the act of sharing that makes it so important, but what it teaches us - patience, understanding, team building, leadership, and (one of the most important & probably undervalued lessons of all); making a small sacrifice from yourself for the joy of others. While there is something to be said about not sharing EVERYTHING (which I think is something you learn with age & wisdom) it's very important to teach our children to be socially responsible people. No man is an island & neither is a child.

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  45. I disagree with this..I don't teach my kids they need to share their personal belongings..do u share everything?? It should be a choice they allowed to make. If it is on the playground and doesnt belong to them then yes you need to teach them to take turns but you need to look up the true meaning of share. It has been changed by this exact arguement. When it comes to a cookie u can share if u choose but when it comes to a toy you should set limits and let others have a turn. Dr. Barbara Sorrels has a good article on this and anyone struggling with this whole concept should read it. It will end this whole discussion! We need to be more worried about teaching our kids the value of possessions, and things like fairness and treating others with respect and dignity. Things like paying it forward and helping others in need. I started this lesson at a very young age with my children through christmas for the homeless and giving everything unwanted away to second hand stores etc. Through those lessons my children can play on a play ground with others happily by taking turns and are able to "share" without problems. Geesh ppl when did these simple basic unwritten rules of humanity become a heated debated on whos right and wrong!!

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    1. We need more people to do nice things like this.... to show our children how to be great humanitarians vs just normal run of the mill civilians. High five to you!

      I myself find the whole discussion crazy.... share some things and others you don't. That is the way of the world. But holding a toy for an hour and half through lunches and whatever else, no way. My youngest doesn't have to share her favorite Rapunzel doll... she has multiple and all of the others are completely free reign to whomever. It is simple really. Maybe that is what is wrong with the world... there seems to be an issue with being okay with the grey space anymore. Everything is so black and white.

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    2. True. We no longer know the true meaning of sharing. Forced sharing is no sharing at all. Perhaps children need to have a sense of possessing first before a sense of genuine sharing.

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  46. This may be completely off the wall, and that is fine by me... But I am a 30 year old with 1 child of my own and 2 bonus kiddos. I don't believe that my parents would have even had these conversations with their friends... "should my child share that toy?" The answer would have been a simple "what the hell are you asking me for? Of course"... Do people ever wonder what is wrong with the world today? Why we see many children feeling so entitled? It is because of things like this. There is a lady above that has multiple times said "I am in the education field and blibbidy blah" - basically saying she agrees with not sharing... I don't know about anyone else, but for this day and age, I for one, am not looking forward to sending my 3 year old off to school in a couple of years. Education systems have changed... so the fact that this goes on in schools is just another reason. Now, I can completely understand not automatically sharing birthday or Christmas gifts... those are special gifts they just received. But to say they are allowed to keep something even through potty breaks or whatever is a tad absurd. I am really not even sure what to say about this entire "not sharing" situation... way to raise tiny entitled assholes I guess. My children will share with yours and never see the toy again :) ... I also teach my children to adapt and overcome, so they will be fine :)

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    1. I couldn't agree more. Sometimes I think people are just looking for a "cause" something to complain about or change. Which, you know, is fine.... however.... should we really be toying with our kids? All this nonsense about not vaccinating, not sharing, breastfeeding until their 6 yrs old.... I hate to see what the world is going to be like in 20 years. :(

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  47. While I don't force my children to share I encourage them to share if it is something bought for all three children I do make them share or take turns each individual childs things I don't require them to share my kids are old enough that they work hard and earn money and most of the time purchase their own things and those are the one's I let them be a little more possessive over

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  48. Look at yourself and you will see why this made you throw your hands up and get so defensive - look in the "mirror" and you will get your answer.

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    1. That made absolutely no sense.

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    2. My thoughts exactly. Quick to judge, quick to anger, slow to understand. He won't see the wisdom behind. Children who truly knows the value of possessing are the one who truly do genuine sharing.

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  49. Once children gain a sense of real possession, they share very naturally, freely, and spontaneously. Perhaps a sense of possessing needs to come before a sense of genuine sharing.

    -S.R.Covey

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  50. It doesn't really seem like the author knows about sharing very much. She must be an older sibling. Sharing is a good lesson for children and her situations she described were very odd. It seems she cherry picked her stories to fit her negative view of sharing.
    A child should not be required to share a toy with an older stranger kid. Very odd. I can think of dozens of situations where sharing would be appropriate and not like this author his describing.
    Perhaps she sends her kid to the Ayn Rand School of Libertarianism. Her kid will be the next Paul Ryan!

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  51. Another image of that girl that I know well and that little boy. Picture taken about 12 years ago in the Lone Oak Park in Rockville, Maryland.

    -Concerned Dad

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  52. I couldn't even read you post after the second paragraph due to the lack of concern about your opinion on this topic. Sure not everything was to be taken by each person, but the fact you put your opinion out there in such lousy and unclassy way made me not even care what else you had to say. I hope you aren't a parent, because you are the generation that we worry about trying to raise responsible solid adults

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  53. I bet there's good ages and times to share and times to not take things from others. Her examples were spot on, no parent should step in and "get" something for their child, their child should be taught to ask nicely to use something or ask to use it after someone is done. On the flip side, most children won't understand what's appropriate for time and space. So parents should help them understand that. Putting time stamps or some other boundary that has to be respected by both parties would seem better.

    Two more cases of picking one view of an issue and everyone assuming it's the only view you've ever considered. Write carefully my friends.

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