I’m not one of those parents that will constantly tell their child that they have to share. As the baby of my family and the only girl in my household, we didn’t really have to share everything. I had my own set of toys, my big brother had his–though he was known to drive my Barbie Corvette off the roof every now and then with GI Joe riding shotgun. Nonetheless, we had our own toys with boundaries in place for the things we shared and the things we didn’t share. And I think this is smart.
Why MUST Kids/People Share Everything?
I think this is malarkey. Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely do not share everything. Most of the time my food and drink are off-limits for sharing–yes, my husband knows this and does take issue on this most days lol. But I feel like sharing should be optional. Why should others feel entitled to the thi4ngs that are mine because of these phantom sharing rules? What’s mine is mine unless I CHOOSE to share it with you. We all have choices and making sharing a “must” eliminates the choices that we all have.
Sharing EVERYTHING Eliminates Boundaries
And this is problematic to me. When people are raised under the guise that EVERYTHING is open for sharing, we lose the “right” to set boundaries and then we do, people act shocked–like how dare you not allow someone into your space and use your things without permission?! As an adult, this makes no sense to me so how does it make sense for me to raise my children with this thinking? It doesn’t. In all honesty, I think that this method of thinking contributes to the unfortunately ever-growing rape mentality that is plaguing the world. My things, my space, my body, my choice and no, you may not invite yourself into any of those.
Some Things Aren’t Meant To Be Shared With Everyone
If I’ve spent my hard-earned money to gift my child with something special that she’s been wanting, no, she doesn’t have to share it. If it’s really special to her and she doesn’t want to let someone else play with it, she doesn’t have to and I support her decision 100%. I think I tell my kids daily that I’m not sharing because some things are off-limits for them. Kids are destructive–not always intentionally but destructive nonetheless–and mini may not want her stuff broken. Why should she have to? One of mini’s friends came over and invited herself to her shoes because they wore the same size. When I saw her sporting them with no regard to taking care of them, I was utterly appalled and disgusted that her parent did nothing but laugh this behavior off. Not cool, not cool at all. On top of the fact that sharing kids shoes where socks aren’t present is disgusting, the lack of respect this kid had for mini’s shoes was just angering. But this child was taught that everything was to be shared and so she invaded my kids stuff.
Not Everyone Should Be Shared With
<Insert above example> It seems as though the lesson of sharing comes before the lesson of respect. I have seen so many kids come into my home and just plain and simple disrespect mini’s things–which in my head are really mine and the hubs since we bought them. I don’t like liars and I REALLY don’t like for people to be disrespectful. Mini is no longer allowed to have friends in her room as it results in too many broken toys that other children have invited themselves to and then broke. Mama is not a millionaire and won’t be replacing these favorite toys of hers because her friends broke them. Now I do understand that mistakes happen and sometimes things break unintentionally but because of this, you’ve got to be careful what you share and with whom you share.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should never share or encourage children not to either. What I am saying is that instead of teaching and expecting people/children to share everything, teach discernment and be open to boundaries. More importantly, be ok with either telling someone or being told “no”. Sharing time, space, toys, etc with others is a gift and shouldn’t be expected.
As adults, do you share everything or expect things to be shared with you? If you’re a parent, do you teach that your children have to share everything? Why or why not?