Here’s why you SHOULDN’T always make your child share

Aren't there times when their toy is THEIR toy?

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When we recently published the story of a mum who revealed that, contrary perhaps to the ‘done’ thing, she didn’t always make her child share, the response was huge.

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And many of you who read it actually agreed with that mum’s point of view – a number of you saying she’d actually put things in a perspective you’d never seen before.

You see, she was talking about not making her son share with kids in her local park – in other words, with children who were strangers to him.

So, we decided to ask you all in more detail about what you think on the issue of sharing.

Should you always make your child do it, regardless of where they are or who they’re with?

Or can you teach them other, equally useful lessons (like how to stand your ground) by NOT always insisting they share?

Here’s what you said:

“I agree that a child shouldn’t be expected to share their own toy with a stranger in the park,” says Emma B. “If it was a playgroup where items didn’t belong to them, then yes, of course, or with a friend.”

Emma also reckons that not making your child share all the time can teach them some good life lessons.

“Too many people are afraid to say no as adults (myself included): maybe teaching our children that they shouldn’t say no and they should share is a reason for this.

“Children should also be taught that they have a choice.”

“I will think of this when out with my son,” says Abbie F. “He will share with friends and siblings but only with strangers if he chooses to.

“They are his things that his pennies were spent on. He’s a good boy with good manners.”

And Ewelina R agrees: “I will teach my son to share with his cousins and friends, but strangers? No way.

“Sorry but I don’t feel obliged to teach my son to share with someone he sees for the first time in his life and probably won’t ever see [again]. Besides, why should I make him cry?”

Gosia M remarks that sharing can even be the totally wrong thing to do at times: “[We] had something similar happen in a splash park where my son couldn’t wait to go so that he could use his water gun.

“He was approached by older ‘strange’ children to borrow it and one asked him to give it to them.

“My son was left devastated as he was so excited about the water gun, so I had to intervene and ask the other children to give it back immediately.

“Sharing is not always cool….all depends on the circumstances.”

But Amie R takes a sightly different view of the whole sharing business: “This is a tough call. I agree partly with this mum but I love seeing my children make new friends and approach new children, whether it be to look at their toy or ask if they want to play – and the same if a child approached them.”

What do you think?

Do you always make your child share? Or are there times when it’s just not fair to? Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook

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