Sharing is overrated


Is sharing really caring? Very young children (0-2 years) can't yet comprehend the concept of sharing as that comes along with knowing empathy. As parents, we project our anxieties over making sure our children are "nice" by asking them to "share."  This can place possessiveness over an object and make it a more much loaded experience, when in reality, the child is just enjoying the toy and they should be able to for as long as their focus allows! When we ask them to give up an object, they start to want to hold onto it more for the sake of not giving it up and a mini drama often ensues that isn't necessary. 

Instead, we can let our children play with objects and give them opportunity to truly explore materials (without fear that their time is limited with each object). This is also allowing other children to look elsewhere for materials, showing them that they can be resourceful and patient. Additionally, we can model empathy as adults and eventually our children learn to give and share objects when they are developmentally capable of feeling for others. 

In Mo' Mommies Art of Awareness Toddler Classes, toddlers are never asked to share. We allow them to explore the materials and toys for as long as they want to. I help them work through challenges that may arise when a child wants an object that another is already using. It's remarkable to see when we eventually start to witness a child giving a toy to another, all on their own. 

These are three links to articles that I love and that clearly get the point across:

Scary Mommy's article "I don't make my kids share their sh*t"

Leslie Bruce of "Unpacified" for Well Rounded

Janet Lansbury's post "The S Word"

Next time your child is seemingly involved with a toy for a long period of time, despite other babies trying to get into his "territory," try allowing him to explore and don't disrupt it by asking him to give it up to another tot!