Rocking Parent Tip: Don’t Share . . . All the Time

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There’s no way to sugar coat it - sharing is hard. It’s tough for adults, so why do we expect kids to do it flawlessly? When I have that last bit of chocolate cake on my plate and my husband swipes it, I want to sock him. And that shirt my BFF is wearing that I want? I might borrow it and never give it back.

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  Still, sharing is a crucial skill to develop, or else we would live in a world full of selfish, entitled brats. But before we chastise the young so much, I think it’s important to acknowledge that sharing sometimes sucks. It’s okay, every once in a while, not to do it. What are the times I cut my kids (ages 2 and 4) some slack from sharing? The following: 1. When it’s a lovey: Every kid is entitled to have one stuffed object in this world that is for his or her affection only. Once designated as “a lovey” said object can only be held, loved, hidden and maimed by its owner. However, this does not mean you can decree that every object in the room is your lovey, as my eldest attempted. One lovey per person, please. 2. Brand-new toys or clothes: When it’s fresh out of the box, I allow a little solo flying time before asking anyone to share. Usually, my girls do it on their own because they quickly realize it’s more fun to play with someone else with the toy. Clothes are a trickier situation, especially if it’s the Elsa dress. 3. Food: You don’t share the food on your plate or in your lunch bag. Mostly likely it’s half-eaten bits anyway. But we do always share if it’s a meal (dinner on the table), or in a box (a container of crackers) or bag (Pirate Booty). And my girls ask all the time if they can take boxes of  seaweed or blueberries or other special treats to school to share with their classmates. The rule there is that if you are going to share food, you have to have enough for all. I think the school’s rule about sharing is really important: the idea of having enough for all. That’s the main thing I want to instill in my kids—not the forced habit of sharing, but a natural desire to make sure there is enough for all, even when there isn’t. The sight of my two daughters splitting a tiny M&M in half this morning (hey, Halloween just happened, I’m still letting them eat candy after breakfast) filled me with joy. They were sharing—chocolate even—without any big to-do over it. And it also meant there was more candy left for me. See more of Andrea’s posts HERE. And here’s something worth sharing…

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