Sharing Is Caring
As a mom, we all teach our children to share. Sharing is an important milestone with children, once they know how to share, it is important to keep encouraging that they do share with others. It is great when the kid wants to share too, it makes it even more special when they share with you.
However, your kid may not want to share all the time. And that is normal, typical behavior for a child of any age. It is okay for them to not want to share. They need autonomy as much as you do.
Children do need to learn boundaries as well. If I go to the pool while eating ice cream, and 3 other mothers come over to me and ask for a bite, would I tell them yes?
Of course not! That is ridiculous. So why are children required to share all the time? They aren’t, of course. Your child does not need to share his or her toy, food, or even clothes. If they want to then yes, of course they can, but letting them know they are allowed to say no is important too.
It may be just as important as teaching your kids to share in the first place. Your child needs to understand consent to a degree as well.
If your kid says no, and the other kids take away your child’s toy, they have ignored his or her lack of consent. They just took what they wanted without thinking of the consequences.
It is okay to say no. It is also okay to say yes and to want to share. But this is not really all about sharing now, is it? It is about your child learning the difference between saying yes and saying no, and how they should react when others tell them the same thing.
You don’t want your child to be the one breaking someone’s consent now, do you? I didn’t think so. I certainly don’t want mine to do that, so why would anyone else? It is called being polite and considerate, which some people these days tend to forget about.
And I am not just talking about children.
In the end, everyone needs to teach their kids consent and saying yes or no. And that either one is okay to do. They do not owe anyone anything.