The Great Sharing Debate

sharing-debateI read a blog post earlier that I found to be a fresh perspective on an age old teaching given. One of the first things that parents generally teach their kids is to share. This sharing lesson is continued on at school, where kids are regularly encouraged to share and even reprimanded if they don’t. This mom said that she refuses to teach her child to share because she doesn’t believe that kids should have the notion that they will be able to get what they want simply because they want it. She had a pretty convincing argument and rationale, mostly based on the policy that her child’s school has in place.

The School’s Policy

The (pre-K) school has a policy that children can play with any toy that is not currently in someone else’s possession and that the toy “belongs” to that child until they are done with it. Thus, if another child asks to use it and the answer is “no,” the response is honored and the child is not reprimanded.

This policy can work to eliminate petty conflicts over whether the child had long enough with the toy, etc. If the child uses the bathroom or something, the teachers will even hold the toy until they return. Of course, all toys must be relinquished at the end of the day, so each day yields a new opportunity to play with a different toy.

The Flip Side

The naysayers to this ideology say that kids learn that they do not have to be considerate of others. An example of how this can affect grown-up decisions is at the gym, when someone is waiting to use a particular machine that another person is currently occupying. The courteous thing to do is finish up quickly so that they other person can use the machine, but those that have been taught that they do not have to share may not understand this. Which way do you feel is best?

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