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"share day" sounds nice, but... - Page 3

post #41 of 113
I understand what the OP is getting at. My kids love to bring in something for sharing as much as I allow them to. Especially after xmas and birthdays. It feels a little weird to me because they do pick toys with a lot of "wow" factor and I know at least one other parent had to try to find a specific thing for her daughter for Christmas because of what my ds brought in! (I guess she didn't "have to", technically, but it was the only thing she asked for over and over, so there was a lot of pressure for her to do so).

I think when show and tell becomes so toy focused, it seems more like "show off" and tell. It does feel weird that a portion of the school day is devoted to showing off toys. Imagine if you worked in an office and every Friday everyone gathered around while people showed off their new cars, photos of their beach houses, etc. I might be able to brush it off for awhile, but eventually I would feel kind of rotten if I had none of these things.

I guess it depends on how the teacher handles it as well. If she guides the children to talk about why it is important to them, that would be nice. If the kids just talk about how cool the toy is and what it can do, then it kind of has a bragging vibe to me.
post #42 of 113
While it doesn't bother me, I can see how it could bother some. I think much of this though depends on the children and where their priorities are. Either way though, I see it as a great learning opportunity and take full advantage of it. Kids bringing things in for share is not much different then going over to another childs' house, except share time could be more positive because 1) there's less stuff and 2) you could have a teacher who also uses it as a learning opportunity. Children will deal with jealousy issues whether they do share time or not, IMO the frequency of share time can be more beneficial in helping children deal with those feelings.

Our eldest has done some form of share in her school since K. In K it was a small box that rotated through each child and they got to put something small in it and come up with 3 clues about it for the kids to guess. DD put in things like: porcupine quills, an imaginary pet baby dragon, 3 teeth, a birds nest, a small paper weight globe Dh picked up at a convention... In first it was more traditional, but they didn't start it until after doing a unit study on toys (how they are made, where they come from, commercialism, making their own, counting/sorting etc.). This year in 2nd they still do it, and it has been fine for our DD. She has brought in things like; her stuffed bat and her favorite bat book (apparently she used it as an opportunity to teach everyone all about bats and why they are so cool to her), more imaginary baby dragons (which I guess she passed around and some got lose and the kids were finding them all day long), a little 'robotic' blinky bug she had made, pictures of herself as a baby, a number times table wheel she had made on poster board, her favorite math board game which she gave to the class as our holiday present for the teacher, a dig your own dinosaur skull with mold that her sister had received for the holidays (after it was dug out, this would constitute a toy), a wooden bell her great-grandfather made, a chipped and cracked piece of plastic she uses as a prism but calls her 'crystal shard'... today she took in a really wonky stuffed animal dog she had made by herself on the sewing machine. She also took in a really small pillow she had made as a test when first sewing, she calls it her 'mistake pillow' and says she puts all of her mistakes in it now.

I just wanted to give everyone some examples of the types of things kids are bringing in. Every child is not bringing in their latest and greatest toy and it can really give the kids some good insight into other children they may not know so well. I have been asked by a couple parents for the directions on making the number wheel because I guess it was a big hit for some of the kids. One mom asked me for directions on the blinky bug as well and we got the kit for her DD for her birthday. There obviously was some talk at home about it.

DD has told me about this child's rock collection, and that child's rubber band ball. She's also told me about the stuffed giraffe that was bigger then all the kids in the class and the 28 Kooky pens someone has (but said "who needs 28 black pens?", and yes, that is something we would model.). Last year lots of girls brought in Hannah Montana stuff and we don't do Disney or HM. I could tell it was affecting her because she started to really dislike HM but we used it as a learning opportunity and I think it was really helpful for when she started going over friends' houses who had tons of HM stuff.

That said, ODD has one friend who is really obsessed with this type of thing. She has jumped on each new thing that came up; Kooky pens, webkinz, beanie-baby 2.0's (or whatever they are) and has to have them, as many as she can get. She brags about them ("I have 23 webkinz, how many do you have?") and really gets hung up on it. (FWIW her parents struggle financially.) If anyone brings in something new, or lots of them she immediately needs to have it. She is generally very competitive as well. I could see where if one had a child like this they may not like share time, because it could be problematic.

I wrote all of that to say that it does depend on the child, as well as the parents. If my kids are begging me for something I will ask them why they want it so much, what will they use it for, etc.. I take this same approach if it's something they see in a store, on a commercial, at a friends house or something that was brought in for share. Not only have I seen the benefits of share on the reluctant, introverted child but also on the reinforcement opportunity of our family values. I really like it for that, and am secretively happy sometimes when kids bring in lots of crap because of the conversations we have at home about it.
post #43 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatteras Gal View Post
My dd has preschool show and share every week, to correspond with that week's letter of the alphabet. This week is M and she took in a magnet yesterday. Other kids brought stuffed animal monkeys, a little play container of milk, and a monster truck (those were the ones I saw).
This is how our preschool does it too. My dd brought in a magnifying glass for M day and a nest for N day. It doesn't bother me what the other kids bring in. I can absolutely say that the other kids think what dd brings in is SO COOL. They all got a chance to use the magnifying glass and they all got to hold the nest.



Are you worried that your child will want what the other kids have? I wouldn't worry so much about it. I say "no" often to the kids wanting certain things they see on TV or that their good friends have, so I don't see this as much different. I also tell them why, though. They know how I feel about Bratz and Hannah Montana and why I will not let them have them in the house. They know how I feel about cheaply made plastic toys and why I don't buy them when they see them in the store. When they happen to get a cheaply made toy as a gift that breaks, then I remind that's the reason why I'm careful with what I buy for them.

So far, it works just fine for us.

****

Exolax

She passed around imaginary baby dragons? And some got loose? That must have been a fun day.
post #44 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Information View Post
She passed around imaginary baby dragons? And some got loose? That must have been a fun day.
Yup. If I remember correctly she took in like 9 of them. They are small enough to fit in the palm of her hand and can easily get loose, you know, being invisible and all (and oh my, we've sat on many of them, thankfully they are also "invulnerable"). I wish I was there to see it actually. This was by far the share I heard to most feedback from parents about FWIW. That, and the bigger then a shoe box wood puzzle box DH had picked up when stationed in Germany. It wasn't necessarily the box that got the comments, it was the fact that it was filled to the brim with dice of all types. I guess lots of kids have never rolled a d20 before, and were fascinated by them and the 4 sided ones. Having to explain to parents what a gaming store was proved interesting.
post #45 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by EXOLAX View Post
Yup. If I remember correctly she took in like 9 of them. They are small enough to fit in the palm of her hand and can easily get loose, you know, being invisible and all (and oh my, we've sat on many of them, thankfully they are also "invulnerable"). I wish I was there to see it actually. This was by far the share I heard to most feedback from parents about FWIW. That, and the bigger then a shoe box wood puzzle box DH had picked up when stationed in Germany. It wasn't necessarily the box that got the comments, it was the fact that it was filled to the brim with dice of all types. I guess lots of kids have never rolled a d20 before, and were fascinated by them and the 4 sided ones. Having to explain to parents what a gaming store was proved interesting.
Cute story!

Dh was into gaming for awhile. We have those d20, d9, d10 dice too. I like them because they are useful to help dd1 learn her math facts. Dd3 likes to stack them.

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t...CN67040001.jpg
post #46 of 113
Thread Starter 
Well... I'm not really worried, per se, about it. I just think it's a little weird for there to be a school-sanctioned "show-off" and tell (as one pp cleverly described it).

I get that kids will see each other's stuff at other houses, at the park, out in the world, and yes, at school. It's just more the principal of it that just makes me wonder.

Why isn't there a class in high school that asks students to bring in their favorite sneaker or handbag? It's kind of like that to me. Kids will have what they have and most likely, at times, want what other kids have. But to dedicate class time to it?
post #47 of 113
DD1 has sharing day every Wed. after their dance class and she absolutely lives for it. I have seen a lot of things the kids have shared because I pick her up right after they share and sometimes I get there a little early to watch. They bring in things like Barbie's, backpack's, and Spiderman toys, but what I also see a lot of is books and stuffed animals. One little boy brought in a paper mache light bulp maraca the other day. They even bring in small toys like Happy Meal toys. DD has never come home and said that she wanted something that a friend shared.

I think it's great especially for children like my dd who is very shy. She gets to practice her public speaking skills while talking about something she loves. The teachers ask things like, "What color is that? What color is it in espanol? Who gave it to you? Why is it special to you? Can you show us what it does?"

Personally, I can't stand character toys or clothing, and I do admit to cringing when I see a Barbie doll, but if it is 20 minutes of fun for the kids....so be it.
post #48 of 113
Our school limits sharing to things like photos, natural items, and homemade things.

Rylie brought her wooden nesting dolls and the book that goes with them today and apparently even those were not quite appropriate. I was a little about that . . . but I'd prefer them to be more focused rather than having kids bringing in plastic crap.
post #49 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
You are not alone.

That activity would be a deal-breaker for me. There are so many other ways to encourage public speaking, as well as fostering the continuity between home and school, and I expect a lot more creativity on the part of the teachers to come up with such activities that do so without rampant commercialism.

Also, it is not a particularly useful nor appropriate lesson for a PRESCHOOLER to be learning about the differences between socioeconomic strata as it pertains to toy acquisition. I am not apologetic for wanting to shield my child from those harsh realities until she is older and better able to process, understand and discuss such things.
:

i am amazed how many people think commercialization in childhood is okay.

op, i totally think something is wrong with this idea being TOYS, why not nature items, pictures, something real rather than showing off toys, yuck!

there's some interesting lists here http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/
about the commercialization of childhood, go to resources, fact sheets. companies spend $17 BILLION advertising to children each year. it seems the pre-school show off is the logical extension of that.

fwiw, we do no brand name stuff and any disney etc. items go straight to the thrift store or other families that don't mind it.
post #50 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayaMama View Post
:
i am amazed how many people think commercialization in childhood is okay.

op, i totally think something is wrong with this idea being TOYS, why not nature items, pictures, something real rather than showing off toys, yuck!
I like share in schools because I don't like commercialism. I tried to make that point pretty clear in my uber long post, but I think I missed the mark. I've learned that I can't shelter my kids from it. It is everywhere. I think share is a great opportunity to explore that.

Share isn't just about toys. I don't know of a school that says "you can only bring in toys" but maybe other people here have had different experiences. I do find it interesting to see what some kids choose to bring in though. If my DC was using it as an opportunity to "show off" I would discuss her motivations with her. In 3 years of share that hasn't been an issue though. She always chooses herself what bring in and she hasn't been sucked into a "show-off and tell" version. I don't concern myself with what other kids do except in regards to how it affects my child. So far it has been a really wonderful way to reinforce our own values as I said before.

I think the discussion of commercialism with our kids is an important one to have at a young age. Catching them when they are younger and are not typically peer focused is a perfect time to do this, versus say in middle school or high school when are dealing with those issues directly. Share time, when presented to an individual child as an opportunity to share something about themselves is a great chance for expression of individuality. It can also open up many wonderful discussions, about these exact issues we are discussing here. I use it as learning opportunity for this exact issue.
post #51 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by EXOLAX View Post
I like share in schools because I don't like commercialism. I tried to make that point pretty clear in my uber long post, but I think I missed the mark. I've learned that I can't shelter my kids from it. It is everywhere. I think share is a great opportunity to explore that.

Share isn't just about toys. I don't know of a school that says "you can only bring in toys" but maybe other people here have had different experiences. I do find it interesting to see what some kids choose to bring in though. If my DC was using it as an opportunity to "show off" I would discuss her motivations with her. In 3 years of share that hasn't been an issue though. She always chooses herself what bring in and she hasn't been sucked into a "show-off and tell" version. I don't concern myself with what other kids do except in regards to how it affects my child. So far it has been a really wonderful way to reinforce our own values as I said before.

I think the discussion of commercialism with our kids is an important one to have at a young age. Catching them when they are younger and are not typically peer focused is a perfect time to do this, versus say in middle school or high school when are dealing with those issues directly. Share time, when presented to an individual child as an opportunity to share something about themselves is a great chance for expression of individuality. It can also open up many wonderful discussions, about these exact issues we are discussing here. I use it as learning opportunity for this exact issue.
exactly. I would suggest that those who are worried about it visit the classroom on share day for a month and see how it really goes down. Is a big marketing campaign? Are the kids bragging about their shared item? Maybe, just maybe, they are 3 year old children who are just bringing in an item that is important to them for some reason and they want to share it and discuss it. Our preschool has show and share and it must be the letter of the week. Last week was A and my son brought in an old, somewhat antique-looking, accordion that my mom picked up at a garage sale last summer. The teacher went on and on about what a neat show and share it was when I picked him up and how all of the children got to play it, etc. Other parents (friends in his class) that their children spoke about it at home. Big deal?!? He also brought in his favorite little monster truck for the letter M and no one cared.... Would the accordion have made some of you upset since other kids liked it? Or is it OK since it's not a name brand "toy." It's technically a musical instrument but in a children's toy version....how would that work?

I think the parents here are making a MUCH bigger issue of this than it has to be. Teach your children about commercialism and the values that you want them to have. Show and share at school (even if you despise how it's handled) can be a great tool to help you teach your children what you want them to know.
post #52 of 113
Eh, it doesn't really bother me much. But, then again, they only did one share day so far this school year (in ds's preschool). They did it shortly after Christmas. I guess the idea was to bring in 1 thing they received over the holidays (). DS was NOT interested. Instead, he wanted to write a story He wrote a story about DP and how it was his birthday and how ds got to go buy him birthday balloons. But then morning came and he decided he didn't want to bring it to school (he didn't want to bring ANYTHING to school). But it was cute anyway
post #53 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by je309 View Post
Would the accordion have made some of you upset since other kids liked it? Or is it OK since it's not a name brand "toy." It's technically a musical instrument but in a children's toy version....how would that work?
well, you tell me. how much was spent by very large, very profitable corporations to "encourage" that purchase? how much money was spent cultivating that desire in small children with little impulse control or critical thinking skills?

it has nothing to do with the fact that other kids liked it, in fact, by saying that i think you've shown that you are really unaware of the argument i'm presenting.

i do agree that our children will at some point encounter consumerism in all it's finery and frankly, i have a huge problem that this is such a part of our society. BUT the real issue here is what the OP was talking about at her school, children trying to bring in the "hippest" or "coolest" toy that the other children then desire.

exolax- pointed out that her dd tends to bring really neat things (i love the box idea btw) and that the other children often want to emulate what she has brought in (the number wheel for example), and honestly, i think that is AWESOME , go your cool kiddo!!

i think the situation at the op's school is a little different and that is what i was trying to talk about. yes, i am hugely anti-consumerism in children, it's obviously one of my "buttons" and yes, my ds knows that mommy doesn't let him watch disney because of all the cross-marketing they do. this is also an example of why we will be homeschooling.

ANYWAY, back on topic, i think that having the children branch out to bring things other than toys would be a great exercise for them and i really don't see how that is negative?
post #54 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayaMama View Post

i do agree that our children will at some point encounter consumerism in all it's finery and frankly, i have a huge problem that this is such a part of our society. BUT the real issue here is what the OP was talking about at her school, children trying to bring in the "hippest" or "coolest" toy that the other children then desire.
In preschool? Really? They are intentionally trying to be the "coolest" at age 3? Well, then that's just plain sad and I don't have anything further to add to this discussion. I suppose I should just be thankful that my children and their friends do not behave in this manner. I worry about children that do as they age...

well, you tell me. how much was spent by very large, very profitable corporations to "encourage" that purchase? how much money was spent cultivating that desire in small children with little impulse control or critical thinking skills?


So it's OK if they come home wanting something that isn't made by a profitable corporation? And they understand all of that at 3... You are able to explain to them why they can't run out and buy and accordion but you are unable to explain to them why they cannot have the latest Barbie? Life is life. I'm glad you're homeschooling because you'll obviously be much happier in that setting but your child is bound to encounter these situations regardless of how you choose to school him.
post #55 of 113
Write a letter to the teacher. DS's school juust sent home a flier asking parents to steer kids towards more educational items like puzzles for sharing (which only happens once a month on the same day that the parent brings in snacks anyway.)
post #56 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by je309 View Post
In preschool? Really? They are intentionally trying to be the "coolest" at age 3? Well, then that's just plain sad and I don't have anything further to add to this discussion. I suppose I should just be thankful that my children and their friends do not behave in this manner. I worry about children that do as they age...

well, you tell me. how much was spent by very large, very profitable corporations to "encourage" that purchase? how much money was spent cultivating that desire in small children with little impulse control or critical thinking skills?


So it's OK if they come home wanting something that isn't made by a profitable corporation? And they understand all of that at 3... You are able to explain to them why they can't run out and buy and accordion but you are unable to explain to them why they cannot have the latest Barbie? Life is life. I'm glad you're homeschooling because you'll obviously be much happier in that setting but your child is bound to encounter these situations regardless of how you choose to school him.
So you agree that commercialism is "bad" and it's sad that there are children out there who are oriented towards material objects, but that those if us who are calling for alternatives to share day as described by the op are being naive for not accepting that our kids are going to exposed to consumerism because that's life?

Gotcha.
post #57 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
So you agree that commercialism is "bad" and it's sad that there are children out there who are oriented towards material objects, but that those if us who are calling for alternatives to share day as described by the op are being naive for not accepting that our kids are going to exposed to consumerism because that's life?

Gotcha.
It's all in how you parent your kids. My kids are not obsessed with material things because that's not how they are raised. Sorry if your kids are.
post #58 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by je309 View Post
In preschool? Really? They are intentionally trying to be the "coolest" at age 3? Well, then that's just plain sad and I don't have anything further to add to this discussion. I suppose I should just be thankful that my children and their friends do not behave in this manner. I worry about children that do as they age...

So it's OK if they come home wanting something that isn't made by a profitable corporation? And they understand all of that at 3... You are able to explain to them why they can't run out and buy and accordion but you are unable to explain to them why they cannot have the latest Barbie?

Life is life.
I'm glad you're homeschooling because you'll obviously be much happier in that setting but your child is bound to encounter these situations regardless of how you choose to school him.
i worry about kids that are exposed to the consumerist frenzy that is america, yes. i worry about kids in pre-school wanting the latest toy because it's been so successfully marketed to their peers. i've seen it in my own son from what limited exposure he has to tv, he wants a "chuck e. cheese" birthday party because pbs has advertising for them.

if they come home wanting something that isn't seen on commercials everywhere that is a different desire than one that is deliberately _cultivated_ by huge corporations. i'm not quite sure how that is so confusing. it's not the desire for something material that is the problem here.

i am completely capable of explaining why they can not have a barbie (i'm sure if my 4 yo ds was even aware of their existence he would be able to tell you exactly why i think they are an inappropriate toy) but the point isn't them wanting something another kid has. the point (for me at least) is the continuous exposure our children face to these sort of instances where corporations are PROFITING from your child's natural innocence.

as for the statement "life is life". um, maybe that's the way _your_ life is but i DON'T believe that i have to accept that my child will be exposed to some corporate agenda in pre-school. yes, it IS part of the corporation's agenda to have peers market to each other. sorry, but that is not okay with me and i'm not going to accept that it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by je309 View Post
It's all in how you parent your kids. My kids are not obsessed with material things because that's not how they are raised. Sorry if your kids are.
if you think that you have a chance of being able to compete with $17 billion dollars a year of research/advertising aimed at figuring out exactly how to get your child to convince you to shell out $30 for whatever toy WITHOUT thinking that major corporations are trying to do exactly that, good luck!

the reason i try to keep my ds as media free as i can, the reason he has no idea who donald duck is, is because i know exactly how insidious advertising can be. you have to be on top of that stuff, which is seems you are implying that you are by saying that it is all in how you parent your child.

actually, i'm a little confused: because you seem to think that consumerism is bad (am i right?) but that the display of commercial toy items in pre-school is good? does the idea of sharing a nature item or non-commercial toy item seem bad to you? do you think that would unnecessarily restrict the children too much?
post #59 of 113
I don't expect you to understand where I'm coming from and I don't fully understand your point of view either. I teach my kids the values and morals that I wish to instill in them. They go out into the world and encounter things such as show and share and they handle it because they don't care. They don't have the desire to have what everyone else has and in the 3 years that we have been going to a school that does this activity, I have never one time had my children coming home damaged in any way by what they have seen another child bring to school.

What is wrong with just teaching your child what you want them to know about commercialism and life and having them bring in an item that you deem appropriate? Why can't you explain to them how horrible the show and share items of other children are if you're that worried about it? Why is it that big of a deal to you? I guess I just don't understand why people get so worked up about this activity. More importantly, I guess I just don't care what other kids choose to share at school as long as it isn't violent or otherwise inappropriate. I don't consider a toy made by Mattel inappropriate but to each their own. I do know that my kids are well adjusted, sweet, compassionate, empathetic and wonderful children despite the fact that they have seen a Barbie in their classroom. Hopfully they will grow up to be productive adults despite this fact as well...
post #60 of 113
It bothers me hardcore when Alivia says she wants something like someone else has. Namely, because I'm a single parent, and we live well beneath the poverty level. She goes to a very expensive daycare (it's the campus daycare, so being a student and on assistance, it's not THAT bad for me) where a lot of the kids are professor's children. There are very few single parents there. It sucks. I feel like I can't give my daughter everything she wants. But she DOES have what she needs, and that's the most important thing.
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