The new iPhone 6 is out.
Even if you’re apathetic like me, you’ve probably been thrown into a situation where you’re standing in the Apple store waiting for your spouse/friend/colleague etc to have his/her hand at the new gadget.
And maybe crack a few jokes about it in the meantime…
Jest aside, I think this is a perfect analogy to explain how I feel about teaching children how to share.
Weeks ago, one of our blogger mommies was talking about an article by Heather Shumaker on “Why it’s okay not to share”.
The gist of the article being:
“Kids learn more life skills- and develop better generosity- when they aren’t forced to share”.
Now, there were plenty a times when Oliver was faced with such a situation especially during outdoor playgrounds and at kiddy rides.
Traditionally, both K and I were taught to give way to other kids regardless how long we’ve been in possession of the toy/swing/ride.
Back to the iPhone analogy.
When someone after you is waiting for their turn at playing with the mobile, do you pass over the phone immediately even though you’ve waited like 15 mins just for your turn? I would think, no.
Likewise, would you be pleased if your mom/spouse/friend told you, “Hey, let people use it first…”? Again, the answer would probably be, no.
However, say you’ve been trying out the gadget for the past minute or so, would you be more willing to let others have a chance now? Depending on how crazy you are about the product, your answer might be “Maybe” or “Yes”.
That’s how I apply the “sharing” concept with Oliver.
There’s 2 key thoughts:
Time & Ownership.
– Whose was it? If it’s Oliver’s personal toy, we’ll ask him whether he wants to share. If he doesn’t, we’ll entice him by demonstrating how fun it would be to play together.
– How long was Oliver in possession of the thing in question? If he just got it, we’ll teach him to ask the other party to wait. If he was playing it for more than 3 minutes, we usually persuade him to let others have their turn by reassuring him we’ll still be here, and he can have his turn again after the other child had his.
Reason being, toddlers have no concept of time before the age of 5. Whilst I agree with Heather’s concept that children should be allowed to decide when they are done, this shouldn’t apply to public property.
It’s mostly trial & error. However, we’ve been finding that Oliver had become more willing to share and wait for his turn.
What is your method in teaching your children how to share?