I’ve seen a ton of different articles about people writing if you should teach your kids to share or not. Many of these articles talk about how they don’t teach their kids to share. While I understand some of their viewpoints, I don’t think the answer is as black and white as they make it out to be.
I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t want to be that parent that sends their kid to pre-k and have to get letters or calls from the teacher saying that my child is not sharing. Sometimes the subject of sharing doesn’t really come up until you have some sort of incident like this. While some parents deal with this earlier than others because they are having a second child or they’re child might go to daycare, it’s an important topic both parents need to discuss ahead of time to make sure you’re on the same page about how to handle these situations.
My oldest two absolutely love to go to the city’s playground. Because this playground can be used by several families my sharing policy here is that if one of my kids have been using a specific toy or play area that they can continue to do so until someone else shows interest in it. I always tell them that we can play with it later or another day.
At Home Play Dates or Visitors
We usually have company over at least once a month. This past year we’ve also had all the kids birthday parties at our home as well. Our sharing policy here is that when we welcome guest to our home to visit and play with the kids that they have the first pick of what toy they would like to play with. I feel as a host we should always put our guests’ needs first and that is what I hope to teach our kids.
Now, because our oldest is very particular about her toys and sometimes doesn’t like for anyone to play with them. (I mean she has 3 little brothers! Who can blame her!) My husband created a “policy” that before a guest comes over they (Elise) can put away a couple of that they don’t want anyone to play with. I love this rule because it allows the child to really decide what toys they want to share with our guest. Since we’ve started this with Elise she seems more excited and more willing to share the rest of her toys.
This is a toughie for me because all our kids are very close in age. Our policy is that if your toy is in the living room play area and a sibling wants to play with it that we share. When they are done you can play with it after. If it isn’t a toy you don’t want to get played with you can put it in your room. We understand that if you got a new Barbie doll you might not want one of your teething twin brothers to be chewing off the leg. We tell them that if there are certain toys you don’t want the twins to play with then those toys aren’t meant to be left on the floor or where the twins can reach them.
I’m sure as they get older the rules will change a bit, but as long as everyone is on the same page that is what is most important.
What about you? What are your household sharing policies? Is it important that your kids share?