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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you do about sharing?

I feel it is totally useless to constantly tell very young children they need to share....or am I off base?

I especially hate when my dd happens to be playing with someone else's toy and the kid wants it back and the parents tell them they need to share. Why? It's their toy. My dd should say thanks and give it back right? Not easy to do...but in essence they either need to both be willing to play with it together or my dd needs to let the owner have it and I need to deal with her disappointment.

Anyway...that's how I see it. I'm just tired of moms chanting share share share. It seems so useless. Oh....and when a mom says, sorry, my dc isn't good at sharing, I'm like, duh...she's/he's 2...and isn't this america? hoard hoard hoard ;-)

What do you do about sharing????
 

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the understanding of sharing from what I understand kicks in around 4 and even with understanding the kids still don't want to do it oftentimes.

I find take turns is much easier to understand except my dd thinks it should always be "my turn" LOL

Whenever I hear parents say something about sharing in a small child I often say "they just don't understand that young do they" with a sympathetic smile. I also think children should be allowed to keep their own toys at young ages...I don't think it's ever to early to start explaining sharing because I am sure some children understand the concept earlier than others but expecting them to understand is another thing entirely.
 

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Most of the time, ds is very good at sharing his toys. I've explained to him how nice it is that he lets his playmates have a turn w/his toys, especially the newer ones. When around others who have a hard time sharing, I usually had ds give in. I was doing this too much and ds was getting duped. So I let ds decide, w/i reason, when he's done playing w/a toy. I don't have a problem explaining to ds playmates how nice it is to share either. But I don't go overboard w/the "share share share." You're right it, can be annoying. (I'd send a fun smiley your way, but they've disappeared from my page..?!)
 

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For toys, we usually talk about "taking turns" instead of sharing. Fortunately, the little friends we play with the most are all on the same page with this. If my son is grabby with another kid's toy, I can (usually) distract him by explaining it's HER turn and soon it will be HIS turn.

It does grate on my semantic sensabilities when an older child tries to take a shovel out of my son's hand and explains it by saying, "But I want to SHARE with him!" I say that when he's done with it, anyone else can play with it.

Some toys I feel like he can share--such as the sand toy where multiple kids can dump sand in the top funnel and make the wheels turn as it falls through. We do "share" that toy at the park. A shovel, however, requires turn-taking.

I also talk about sharing in terms of food. He's pretty good about sharing his crackers with pals, if he can control the source. He also loves breakfast, which is also known as "share cereal mama."

If another parent tries to force sharing for the benefit of my son, I usually say, "That's OK, we can wait" and move somewhere else.
 

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I don't think children should be made to share at all, or take turns. I think it is something that will come to them with age without being told, or even encouraged to do so. When I worked at a daycare, all of the other workers would make the children get off of the swing after a few minutes so the other children could have a turn. I never did this. I told the children to ask the person on the swing if they could have a turn and if they said "no" then that was it. The majority of the time, the child on the swing would get off when asked. Children will get it on their own. No need for encouragement IMO.
 

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Ha - yeah I especially love that it's so forced at around age 2 to 4 - with the mother even grabbing it from one kid and giving to another while telling her own "you have to share" (while also showing how to grab and take away).

We did what PPs do - take turns instead of forcing sharing. A turn could truly be a long time, or we could say, "how long do you want your turn to be - 1 minute or 5 minutes" to give some choice ... of course the five minutes is the winner. She liked being able to give it back, knowing she would have a turn again. Unfortunately, when my daughter was this age, we didn't have too many progressive friends and we were the only ones doing it this way. People looked at us like we were crazy - I guess it's not in mainstream parenting magazines?

When DD had a special toy she said in advance she didn't want to take turns with, we put it away for the duration of a playdate. If children were fighting over a toy, we usually put it up and they forgot about it within five seconds. There was one child we played with, all of his toys he couldn't manage to see other children play with, and so we offered to bring some of our own to see how that would go - the mother was totally offended and said he just HAD to learn to share, how else would he learn (as she took something away from him for the billionth time). The little guy was throwing tantrums and really enraged. I felt bad for him.

I always thought it was ironic too, how we as a culture focus on sharing but then are totally into the "ME" and selfishness and acquiring everything. And definitely NOT sharing what you've got more of with others who have less. In our family, we've just started talking about the concept of sharing. My daughter now thinks it best if we could just share our house with the homeless man on our street.
That was hard to explain...
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by abac
I told the children to ask the person on the swing if they could have a turn and if they said "no" then that was it..
This is what was done at my daughter's Montessori school as well, with all of their toys/work. I've had to modify the approach at home to keep any friends around. At age five for us, there seems to be no problem at all anymore in any case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
abac...I think you and I think more alike on this issue. I like what everyone else is saying...taking turns vs. forcing to share etc. But whenever possible I like to sit back and watch kids work it out themselves in their own way. Even those who can't speak to each other.

My dd often just offers toys/food etc. to another child without being prompted...and others often do the same. It's interesting to watch a child who is holding a toy...I have watched as my dd approaches and shows interest in the toy. If the other kid isn't prompted to share they will very often offer dd the toy. However, if a parent is there to intervene and they say "share the toy dc"...I watch the kid go from generous to possesive. They pull the toy closer and say no! Fascinating stuff.

I really like to let kids work it out and intervene if I feel it's necessary. It just seems that so many parents are only shouting share for my sake.

and P-chan...it's interesting what you said about an older kid taking a toy in the name of sharing. I have witnessed that as well. And it just seems to prove that trying to force sharing creates a less sharing attitude than just letting a child learn to share out of their natural desire to make someone happy.

good discussion..thanks for sharing your thoughts everyone (couldn't resist) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by abac
I told the children to ask the person on the swing if they could have a turn and if they said "no" then that was it. The majority of the time, the child on the swing would get off when asked. Children will get it on their own. No need for encouragement IMO.

I meant to ask about this...I sometimes think that at the park there are a lot of communal items - toys, swings, slides etc. If dd wants to swing and someone is on it we look for an open one. If none are open I try to get her into something else. So, abac, if you are watching a kid who has been on the swing for a long time and doesn't seem interested in giving it up, despite being asked, would you encourage them to get off since it is common *property* ?
 

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I think a child doesn't have to give something up just because another child wants it (even if the item belongs to the second child). What really grates on my nerves is a parent who lets their child grab stuff out of another child's hand and then tries to distract the victim with another toy. Just teaches the first child that it's perfectly acceptable to grab and it drives me up the wall.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LittleLime
I meant to ask about this...I sometimes think that at the park there are a lot of communal items - toys, swings, slides etc. If dd wants to swing and someone is on it we look for an open one. If none are open I try to get her into something else. So, abac, if you are watching a kid who has been on the swing for a long time and doesn't seem interested in giving it up, despite being asked, would you encourage them to get off since it is common *property* ?
Good question. I probably would, but I don't think I should (if that makes any sense.) I think that if the child has stated his wishes, that should be respected. I also think that most children understand the concept of sharing common property and taking turns without having it explained to them. But, I think understanding the concept and acting accordingly are two different matters. It would be nice to get off the swing, but hey, if the child doesn't want to and they're made to get off (or even encouraged after they've made their wants clear,) then I think it only teaches them that what the other child wants is more important and that their feelings aren't being respected. I don't think it teaches them anything about sharing and it honestly seems a little like bullying to me.

(Now that I think about it more, I'll have to be really careful about this when I'm at parks.
)
 

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If it's DD's toys, then I ask her if she would like to share the desired item with the other kid. If she says no, I respect that. I will ask her to find something for the other child . Sometimes she does. I always tell her she doesn't have to share if she doesn't want to. At the playground yesterday she took out her bag of sand toys. Of course another little girl was drawn to them wanting to play. DD didn't want to share. I sort of smiled sympathetically at the mother while saying to DD "its hard to share sometimes". The little girl's mother was cool about it, although the girl was sad. I mentioned it to DD that she was sad, and that it was hard for the other kids to watch her playing and not get to play, too. The little girl went off to pick flowers, and came back and offered one to DD - it was SO sweet! - and DD invited her to share, picking out a shovel and mold for her. I was proud!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LittleLime
What do you do about sharing?

Oh....and when a mom says, sorry, my dc isn't good at sharing, I'm like, duh...she's/he's 2...and isn't this america? hoard hoard hoard ;-)

What do you do about sharing????
LittleLime, I agree with your thoughts. DS is 24 months and decidely not interested in sharing. I've read over and over in development psych. texts and articles and here at MDC that kids don't even understand "sharing" before age 4. If someone has a DC that shares, that is wonderful but I don't see the point in punishing or disciplining our DS because he can't share. I've grown tired of the constant rant, "share share share" as well. I've seen 2 year olds put on time out mats at play groups for not sharing. Personally, I think a lot of parents are saying "share share share" not because of their child but because they don't want to appear rude. I know, despite my best intentions, I find myself saying things in public because I don't want myself or my son to appear "rude". Many times we are at play groups and someone takes a toy from DS and the parents will reprimand their child and tell them to share. And then I find myself saying the same thing. I KNOW he likely isn't ready for this concept (judging by his behaviour) but somehow i feel I must say something out loud or I'm being "rude" . I know, I know - it doesn't make sense!


I agree with your last thoughts. I'm Canadian by the way and the irony of "share, share, share" at play groups hasn't escaped me. I mean how many adults go around willingly sharing their possessions to strangers? Personally, I feel DC will begin to learn to share as he gets older and has more social play (rather than his current parallel play). But, for the most part, I think a lot of people I encounter are stressing 'sharing' because the parents feel they are expected to encourage this behaviour. Just my theory.....
 
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