Sharing is Not Always Mandatory

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It is playground time and I’m not sure how to handle sharing. If my child rides her balance bike to the playground, should I let other kids play on it if they want? How about other toys that she brings?

If you brought a book to the playground and someone saw it, said it looked good, and wanted to take it and read it, you would think that was odd. If your child brings a toy to the playground and another child wants to play with it, they are reprimanded for saying no.

They are told that they have to share – what is the difference? There are things at the playground that must be shared – the line, swings, climbers – but if a child brings something to the playground to work with, then it is theirs.

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You can talk before leaving for the playground and say that other kids may want to play with the toy. You can talk about toys that they can bring that would be fun to share. Talk about how your child can handle it when they do not want to share. They can kindly say, “I am using this.” “I brought this to play with.” “It’s mine from home.”

Your child wanting to use her own materials by herself is not a rude act. Sharing can be taught in many spaces and places, but so can pride in one’s things and play and work. I’m pretty sure you would not be cool with a stranger or some person that you kind of know playing games on your phone. Your child feels the same way about their possessions. Your child’s bike is theirs and is important to them. Having someone else ride it may be very upsetting to them.

Teach sharing but also keep in mind that kids are people, too, who care about their things.

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Brandi Davis, ACC, is a professional Parenting Coach, Parent Educator, and Author of O.K. I’m A Parent Now What? She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and be sure to catch her parenting podcasts on iTunes. The goal of Brandi’s practice is to bring respect, calm communication, teamwork, and FUN into the home or classroom. To discover all that Child and Family Coaching can bring to your family stop by www.childandfamilycoaching.com.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.

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