The other day I posted how Mia cried over a Frozen book that a little girl at the mall refused to share with her. That was Strike 1. In case you missed that, here it is: To Share Or Not To Share (Part 1).
Just 2 days after that, we met another non-sharing kid again, this time at the playground, whose unexpected meanness opened our eyes as to how families differ in views when it comes to sharing.
Strike 2: Play day at the park.
After spending some time on the climbers, Mia saw an unattended pink scooter and wanted to give it a try.
“Sorry, anak, that’s not ours. We have to find the owner and ask permission first.”
A minute later, a 6-year-old looking girl arrived.
Mia said, “Can I try?
The girl answered, “NO. My mother said, ‘Don’t share.’ “
Oh. Quite harsh. Especially since the instructions clearly came from an adult.
What could be their reasons? I wondered.
Perhaps avoiding sicknesses from unwashed hands? Or preventing toy damage by clumsy younger kiddos?
Mia ran to me and shouted, “She won’t share!”
“It’s okay, anak. Just go slide and play on the poles.”
She was about to burst when the same girl brought out bubbles.
“Can I try?” Mia again said.
“NO!” the girl answered.
Then Mia stood up to her face and said, “SHARE!”
Boy did I feel proud watching her from a far.
But then the girl made fun of how she had a bit of trouble saying the “sh” part of “share” and mockingly repeated how she pronounced it. To make things worse, another girl who was standing behind them jived in and laughed.
Oh my, HOW MEAN!
It wouldn’t have been awful if it was this cute:
but it was more like this:
I couldn’t believe what I just witnessed. Had they been watching Mean Girls? I thought this only happened with older kids. Or maybe teens? But 5? 6-year-olds?
Mia cried endlessly.
I want everybody to SHARE!
was her desperate plea while crying on the playground.
“Just don’t mind them, anak..”
Jillian, a friend of hers, thank goodness, came to her rescue.
“Don’t cry Mia, here, I’ll share my sticker book with you.”
“Why they not share Mommy??”
“Some kids don’t like to share… But some kids, like Jillian here, like to share. See, she’s letting you have her sticker book.”
I wanted to comfort her, lift her up, and win that scene. I was tempted to say, “Don’t worry anak, I’ll buy you a MUCH BIGGER and MORE SPECTACULAR bubble!”
But I didn’t.
The mommy in me also wanted to find the parents of those girls and alert them of how mean their kids are for mocking mine. But then what for? Be the over-protective, overly sensitive mom? Ugh. Never mind.
That probably deserves a separate post but for now let’s just focus on the sharing part.
The truth is not everyone shares. If you haven’t met a single selfish soul and you’ve always been surrounded by generous people who wholeheartedly share what they have, you are probably the luckiest person alive! Because as far as my adult life is concerned, not everyone’s nice. And this is one of the unpleasant things in life our kids will inevitably experience.
Having said that, what we probably need to do while we are teaching our kids to share is to also prepare them how to respond to non-sharing kids. Let’s help them understand that while it’s always best to share and to be nice, we can’t expect it from everybody, and we certainly can’t expect it to happen in all circumstances.
Food, for example, is a yes and a no. There are some schools that don’t allow snack sharing to avoid unexpected allergic reactions. Reasonable enough.
Toys and books? Yes. I am definitely on the sharing camp on this.
The way I see it, it’s not the toys or books per se that we’re sharing here but the FUN and the EXPERIENCE of playing with a friend. Books and toys create the opportunity to converse and to learn how to take turns.
On the other hand, I also believe that this social skill goes hand in hand with respect.
Our kids are individuals (though young and immature) who have their own opinions and feelings. There are personal toys they love very much and are unwilling to share. And I respect that. Forcefully taking it away from them would make “sharing” a bad experience.
Same goes with gifts that they have not fully enjoyed ownership of yet. Their mine mine mine attitude is quite understandable during these times and it might be best to give it a few days.
With those things in mind, I’d like to tell the parents of that mean 6-year-old and her friend that I hate their kids. No, just kiddin. I’ve accepted that we have different views. We all have our reasons and whatever theirs are for telling their child not to share, I respect that. It doesn’t mean I like it, but if they really choose not to share, my only piece of advice is, to at least choose to be kind.
And no mocking!!!
Comfort food pa more.
Have you ever been in similar situations? I would love to know your side on this topic! 🙂