No, You Can’t Have My Cookie, But Give Me Your Milk

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IMG_1955“Okay, Son Son, if I buy this apple, we’re sharing it. Half of the apple will be mine, and half of the apple is yours.”

“But, why?”

But, why, indeed. I’ve read a new theory going around, and I’m actually surprised to see how many parents are jumping on board. Within the belief, a point was made that children should not be taught to share, because aspects of greed are learned from sharing. Another point I’ve gleaned from this theory–one that is making some pretty large “climb on board, join my gang” waves, was that sharing diminishes the ability to have proper coping skills. Apparently, children who shared growing up never dealt with their disappointment, and expected everything in life to be given to them. The main point from the current idea of choice, if you can get past the blatant irony of the other two, was that sharing never occurs in the real world, therefore shouldn’t be forced upon our children.

Um, what?

So, … I’ve been scratching my head over that. And rolling my eyes a bit, while screaming at my computer, “Yes, you do share, or else you’d be a horrible human being, and nobody would like you!”

I agitate quite nicely.

Still, instead of bashing my head into the keyboard, or into a wall–all viable choices–I polled the “real world.” I’ve people watched throughout the week, I’ve asked questions about sharing, and I posted this status to Facebook:

I’m doing research on a Moms Magazine post about sharing.

1) Do you believe in sharing?

2) Do you teach your kids to share?

3) Do you expect others to share with you?

Thanks in advance!

The theory made me wonder if the only person shocked at the audacity of the claim was me. Anyone who has ever read my blog, or posts, knows that altruism is the crux of my belief system. I’ve grown up believing in the value, possibility, and all-encompassing understanding of humanity, and what it means to be human.

From the polls I took on-line, the majority of the mothers who stated that they did not allow their children to share ended with a stipulation. One mother specified, “We shouldn’t teach them to hand something over because they wanted it, but rules can be set on playing with the toys, and taking turns.” Another said, “If the child is not yet of the age to understand sharing, I do not enforce the idea.” Another comment, from a teacher, spoke to the heart of altruism. It said, “If a child shows up unprepared, and expects another child to be prepared for him, sharing does not need to occur. However, if a child is truly in need, sharing is encouraged.”

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