"share day" sounds nice, but... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 113 Old 01-27-2009, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Would this bother you?

My dd's preschool has "share day" every friday. Kids bring in a favorite toy or book and share it with the other kids. But, as it happens, it's not so much an exercise in sharing as it is an orgy of commercialism. Mattel couldn't dream up such an effective marketing strategy!

All the kids come with their Barbie this-that and their Disney Princess such-and-such and it's like a competition for who's got the coolest stuff. It really bothers me. So, now DD is coming home telling me about all the cool stuff the other kids have and how she wishes she had that stuff too.

All that said, you know kids really DO want to show off their things and it's nice to provide one day when kids can bring their things to school.

What do you think?

I have so many issues with this school...
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#2 of 113 Old 01-27-2009, 05:14 PM
 
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Our school put limits on what to share- nature (neat leaf) found objects, etc. NO toys from home were allowed. It made sharing more fun.
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#3 of 113 Old 01-27-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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IMO, if you don't want your child to see the commerialism, don't go to a mainstream preschool or mainstream private school. Those are the options. I agree it's a pain. DD never knew who Dora was until she went to preschool (I hate Dora and we don't allow it in the house).

If I could, DD would be going to the co-op preschool but it's got a waitlist of 40+kids. If you're that upset by it, you need to homeschool or find a school that fits with your parenting philosophy better.

Jenn
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#4 of 113 Old 01-27-2009, 05:52 PM
 
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I'd let it go. For all you know those kids are going home & telling them what your dd brings & how they want that.

The only variation of this activity that I've seen was last year 3 or 4 months the teacher had a theme for their sharing day. sometimes the kids had to make something & bring it in. One that I can think of offhand was they had to bring in something that sank & something that floated, then show the kids.
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#5 of 113 Old 01-27-2009, 06:46 PM
 
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The schools DS has been to didn't let them bring toys to share.

My response to "I want such and such that all the other kids have" is "Hmm." I just don't continue the conversation. It's a no-win conversation.

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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#6 of 113 Old 01-27-2009, 06:50 PM
 
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I don't really see an issue with it. Yeah my kid will come home sometimes and say some other kid had this really cool toy. Its never been a big deal to us.
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#7 of 113 Old 01-27-2009, 06:52 PM
 
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We have "show and share" at our school and the kids are asked to bring in something that starts with the letter of the week. It can be whatever they want it to be including toys. I don't have a problem with it because it's just life. They can't have everything and they know that. They have things that other kids don't and vice versa. I think that parents can try to protect their kids from exposure to everything but it does them a disservice. They are going to see these things eventually (if they ever plan on having play dates, etc.) so what is the difference?

My kids (ages 3 and 5) have never come home complaining about what other kids have. I guess each kid handles it differently.
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#8 of 113 Old 01-27-2009, 06:54 PM
 
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It wouldn't bother me.

ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
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#9 of 113 Old 01-27-2009, 07:10 PM
 
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In my experience (my kids have been to eight schools over the years), there is always share day. Some do letter of the week, but still whatever you want. Most have let you bring your pet with prior approval. Only restriction I've ever seen is no toy guns at one preschool we attended.

I think you are overthinking it. It is just the real world. She will see Barbies and princess stuff everywhere - at friends' houses, while shopping with you at Target, ads that come with the newspaper, tv commercials if you do tv or if she ever watches at gramma's.

I had a no Barbie rule when my dd1 was young. She survived seeing other kids have Barbies. It really wasn't the end of the world.

I still have a no SpongeBob and no Bratz rule. They somehow survive.

I wouldn't worry at all about the sharing thing - but what are the other issues you have with her school?
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#10 of 113 Old 01-27-2009, 08:17 PM
 
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Oh man this situation would make me crazy too! It sounds like "shareday" is basically QVC for kids...and during school time no less. This activity would make much more educational sense to me if there were a no-toys rule.

Plus it is a situation that could easily highlight socio-economic disparities between kids. Not cool.
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#11 of 113 Old 01-27-2009, 11:33 PM
 
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Could you suggest a "no-toy" rule? Maybe pitch it as being more educational. My kids' school has a no-toy rule, and my kids just love sharing day. I remember one day my 4 yo was so excited about a broken clock one of his classmates brought for sharing. There is always so much discussion about the items. But I can't imagine any kind of interesting or enriching conversation arising about a Barbie doll.
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#12 of 113 Old 01-27-2009, 11:40 PM
 
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That would make me INSANE. :
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#13 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 12:53 AM
 
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Whenever dd sees something she wants to get (in the store, at someone elses place, in preschool at show and share) I tell her to put it on her list.
(it's either Santa's, the Easter bunny's or her birthday list) By the time that time rolls along, she has forgotten most of the stuff she wanted.
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#14 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 01:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TeresaZofia View Post
Would this bother you?

My dd's preschool has "share day" every friday. Kids bring in a favorite toy or book and share it with the other kids. But, as it happens, it's not so much an exercise in sharing as it is an orgy of commercialism. Mattel couldn't dream up such an effective marketing strategy!

All the kids come with their Barbie this-that and their Disney Princess such-and-such and it's like a competition for who's got the coolest stuff. It really bothers me. So, now DD is coming home telling me about all the cool stuff the other kids have and how she wishes she had that stuff too.

All that said, you know kids really DO want to show off their things and it's nice to provide one day when kids can bring their things to school.

What do you think?

I have so many issues with this school...
Truth? I think you are really over thinking this and overreacting. Our kids have share day every week too and my kids love it. My kids are allowed to have Barbie or Disney Princess though, because I don't believe banning everything is respectful of my kids. Either way, just let your child show her stuff and have a great time. I guarantee you she is not putting as much thought into it as you are.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#15 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 01:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cyclemama View Post
Could you suggest a "no-toy" rule? Maybe pitch it as being more educational. My kids' school has a no-toy rule, and my kids just love sharing day. I remember one day my 4 yo was so excited about a broken clock one of his classmates brought for sharing. There is always so much discussion about the items. But I can't imagine any kind of interesting or enriching conversation arising about a Barbie doll.
Maybe the kids are just showing the stuff for...fun? Share time takes what? 15 minutes? I think 15 minutes out of the day isn't going to harm their education. My daughter had share time today and took her huge stuffed pit bull. Nothing educational about that. But she was excited and the kids thought it was cool so oh well.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#16 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 01:29 AM
 
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That would make me INSANE. :
Is it really worth getting that worked up about though? I mean, all the things in the world there are the need to be changed and people that need to be helped and you let share time get to you so much?

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#17 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 01:49 AM
 
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Heavenly....I couldn't agree more. It's preschool show and share for crying out loud! At our school, the point of this activity is to encourage children to develop their public speaking skills as well as their confidence in front of a group. If it makes them happy to speak for 30 seconds about a princess, so be it!
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#18 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 02:54 AM
 
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Heavenly....I couldn't agree more. It's preschool show and share for crying out loud! At our school, the point of this activity is to encourage children to develop their public speaking skills as well as their confidence in front of a group. If it makes them happy to speak for 30 seconds about a princess, so be it!
It is quite possible to accomplish the same objective without the toy show. Our preschool had this kind of share time daily and kids would show a "trick" like a new yoga move, or share news "we got a new puppy" or "grandpa took me too the park" or whatever.
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#19 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 03:02 AM
 
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I can understand your frustration and I think it is very reasonable to speak with the teacher and/or the administration. At my son's school they do not allow toys to be brought for share time. Instead the kids are asked to share an experience they had. My son shared this week about our weekly family meetings and how we're learning about a different virtue each week.

I do not see the point in kids sharing about their toys, it seems rather superficial to me. And it sends a message that it is the things in their lives that are most worthy of attention rather than the people or experiences in their lives. Even limiting the sharing to a favorite book or bringing a picture of a family member, experience or pet would be a good place to start.

Kris wife to Stew and mom to Joey 8/03 who cares for , 2 frogs and a worm
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#20 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 03:22 AM
 
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I'm with the OP on this. Especially the Disney princess and Barbie stuff. They perpetuate such misogynistic c**p. This type of "share and tell" also serves to highlight socioeconomic inequities between students' families. As to the comments about over thinking and overreacting... It IS important to pick your battles. However, if maintaining a non-commercial/overly branded home environment (toys, books, etc.) is important to the OP, it makes sense something like this would be bothersome. It's similar to someone wanting their child to eat mostly organic and then getting irked about commercially prepared rice krispie treats and fruit by the foot being served for snack at school. (Wait, that's me...)
I like the idea of sharing something from nature, a drawing/piece of art the child made, or an experience (as straighthaircurly mentioned) would strengthen the same public speaking skills mentioned by other posters without the emphasis on the cool toy.
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#21 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 10:14 AM
 
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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).

I personally wouldn't be as bothered by it as the OP, but we let our kids watch TV (with commercials) and have character toys and movies. But if you really feel so strongly, make a suggestion to the teacher, like someone said, about a no-toy rule, or a theme for the week. HTH!
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#22 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 10:25 AM
 
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As a preschool teacher AND a mother of a preschooler here are my 2 cents --
Many times this is a compromise between letting kids bring in toys from home whenever they want (which in my experience is always problematic!) and banning toys from home altogether. For children this age, it is a way to bridge the gap from home life and life at school. Having an item from home to talk about often helps kids feel more comfortable as they are adjusting to school.

I encourage my daughter to bring things she has neat stories about (sea shells from time spent @ the beach, etc.) instead of just toys. It seems like a variety comes in in her class (about 1/2 toys and 1/2 other types of sharing items).
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#23 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 11:06 AM
 
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Show and tell has a real part in preschool and grade school education. It teaches kids to talk in front of their peers, speak at an appropriate volume, string together a whole thought, and give enough context for others to understand. For those listening to show and tell, it gives kids a window into what others' lives are like and brings in new ideas. Having a prop makes this process a lot easier for most kids.

In my kids' classes, we've lead by example on things like this. Once DD brought in her mineral collection, other kids started bringing in their collections (some Star Wars figurines, but also a collection of keys, and a coin collection). Sure, there were still Barbies and the like coming in, but there was more creativity in the contributions. Kids realize that this is what's interesting.
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#24 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here.

I do allow Barbies et al. at home. DD has tons of Disney princess cr*p. So, it's not that I fear she is exposed to this stuff. It is everywhere anyway. I am just concerned about what Nimbus said. It creates a socioeconomic divide. I am almost certain other kids are going home and asking their parents for what my DD has. This doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy.

While commercialism is everywhere, does school need to be a place that perpetuates it? That's all I'm wondering.

I love the idea of bringing something that starts with the letter of the week. That way the emphasis is less on "how cool is my toy?" to "how does this fit into the overall discussion at school?"

I will suggest this. Thanks.
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#25 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 03:25 PM
 
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Then how do you stop "B is for Barbie" or "D is for Disney" or "P is for Princess"? With the same toys being brought in.

I'm on the lower end of the SEScale, and it's a fact of life - some people have more, some have less. Whoop de doo. When the younger one had an open house where her class showcased the Chinese Horoscope, she got the Rabbit. And she brought in .... her rabbit. Guess what? Lots of kids went home and wanted Mommy and Daddy to buy them a rabbit. Not my problem, to be honest. Mine have come home telling me about the neat "whatever" their peers brought in. Cool! How Neat! Doesn't mean we're getting one!

Seriously - you can not protect kids from everything. They WILL find out that some people have more (toys), bigger (houses), more expensive (cars) than others. Welcome to the real world.
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#26 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 03:30 PM
 
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Then how do you stop "B is for Barbie" or "D is for Disney" or "P is for Princess"? With the same toys being brought in.

I'm on the lower end of the SEScale, and it's a fact of life - some people have more, some have less. Whoop de doo. When the younger one had an open house where her class showcased the Chinese Horoscope, she got the Rabbit. And she brought in .... her rabbit. Guess what? Lots of kids went home and wanted Mommy and Daddy to buy them a rabbit. Not my problem, to be honest. Mine have come home telling me about the neat "whatever" their peers brought in. Cool! How Neat! Doesn't mean we're getting one!

Seriously - you can not protect kids from everything. They WILL find out that some people have more (toys), bigger (houses), more expensive (cars) than others. Welcome to the real world.
Exactly. I would stop worrying about what other kids bring in and make sure your own kid brings in something "insightful" or whatever you deem appropriate if you feel the need to do so.
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#27 of 113 Old 01-28-2009, 11:50 PM
 
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je309 - I couldn't agree with you more. There is only so much you can do, and the one thing you can do is make it meaningful for your own child. Even children who are on the lower end of the SES spectrum have meaningful items in their home. And, I can guarantee you that children who are on the high end of the SES spectrum don't have everything either especially in these economic times.
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#28 of 113 Old 01-29-2009, 12:44 AM
 
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My DS is in Kindy and his sharing is based on the letter of the week. They have to have their item hidden in a bag. They are to practice saying 3 hints, one being which letter it starts with. It goes a little something like this:

Mason, "Hello class, I have something to share today."

Class, "Hello Mason, what do you have to share today?"

Mason, "It starts w/ a P. It is something you eat. And you put sauce on it."

The class then guesses.

Mason pulls item out of bag. "It's pasta!!!"

My DS absolutely loves Friday, his sharing day. He searches all week for something to bring. He always wants to bring odd things to stump the class. I would be upset if someone didn't like how it was handled and wanted to change it. I'm sure he would too.

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#29 of 113 Old 01-29-2009, 12:59 AM
 
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That would make me INSANE. :
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.
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#30 of 113 Old 01-29-2009, 01:55 AM
 
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you can make your dd's "gimme gimmes" into a good opportunity for disscussion, i think nobody gets everything they want all the time. kids can learn that, and be ok with it.

it wouldnt bother me.

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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