Earlier this month, I read an article of a mom allowing her child to have the choice of sharing or not sharing his toys with others. She and her son were walking to a playground with a few of his new toys. Many little boys on the playground ran up to him asking him if they could see his toys. The mother noticing that this was becoming overwhelming to her son, you know being pressured to share his things with complete strangers, the mother told her son that he could say no if he wanted to. Many of the children were surprised by what she said and tattled to their parents. These parents then began to give Alanya Kolberg and her son Carson mean looks.
Two questions came to my mind. 1. Why the mean looks from the parents and their children? 2. Why is this little boy expected to share his things with people, regardless if he knows them or not?
I think Ms. Kolberg is brilliant! I sometimes wonder if parents feel obligated to have their kids share because that’s what expected and it’s the “nice thing” to do. But what about when the sharing goes bad?
I grew up an only child so I didn’t have anyone to share my things with. So yes sharing was hard for me, but I also had a soft spot for people that didn’t have a lot of the nice things I was fortunate to have. Did I get everything I wanted because I was an only child, No…but my parents blessed me with many of the toys I wanted as a reward for being an obedient child. We lived oversees in a country called Belgium, and there were toys there that weren’t always provided in the states. Many of my favorite toys were found in Belgium. I remember two of them in particular.
My Heather Doll, which I later found out was sold in the states, was one of the best dolls ever. She had 3 ways of being a baby. She could behave like a newborn, a 1 year old, and a 3 year old. There was a switch you could use so that she would behave in whatever age you choose for her. She would cry and coo more as a newborn, cry and laugh and try to talk as a 1 year old, and would say words as a 3-year-old. She was GREAT!!!! None of my other friends had a doll like her. One day I took her over a friend’s house, and of course I had to share. I didn’t mind sharing because I wanted my friend to see my cool new doll. My friend however didn’t see her as the most precious possession I had, so in an attempt to get her to stop crying this girl shook my doll so hard she broke Heather’s neck. Her head was no longer securely attached to her neck. She still worked, but her pretty little head hung to the side.
My Purple Light Up Phone…This phone was like a walkie talkie but designed to look like a rotary phone. My parents would have one of the phones in the living room with them and I would have the other one in my room. When I would pick the phone up, the other phone would light up and ring, so that person would know they are receiving a call. We could actually talk to each other! It was so cool!!!! Well one day, a family from our church was coming over. This couple had about a dozen kids, okay so it was only 4, but my God. The wildness of these children made it seem like there were more of them. I tried to stay far from them when we were at church because they always got into trouble and were so loud. I had already told my mom that I was nervous about them playing with my toys, so we put my “good” toys away. That didn’t work because somehow, they found my good toys, which included my phones, and next thing I know, the receiver on the phones were broken. From then on, I decided that sharing is not always caring.
I learned that sometimes sharing is a sacrifice that can bring loss to the sharer.
Sharing is sometimes caring if I have many of the same things to share with others. This way sharing isn’t a sacrifice. All those times those kids broke my toys. They didn’t care, but I was the one left crying, upset, and bitter over my irreplaceable toy. Why did I have to share my precious valuables with you, especially when they didn’t have the same love for the toys as I did, no matter how cool they thought the toy was. It wasn’t a loss for them. And yes I am still a bit bitter…okay maybe a lot.
Even now, when going out to dinner with another couple is it mandatory to allow the other couple or your mate to try your food? I mean, they ordered their food and you ordered your food. Is it an expectation to ask them if they would like to try my food? Is that the polite thing to do? I just want to know…. Depending on how much I have, I don’t mind, but is it mandatory of dining out? If I still have food or drink in the refrigerator does that now mean that I am obligated to give you my food that I am not in a rush to enjoy, just because you enjoyed yours faster than me and now want more? The Devil! I’ve had some bad experiences with this thing called sharing, so I agree with what Alanya Kolberg told her son, and believe sharing should be your choice.
Check out the link below to read the entire story on Alanya Kolberg & her son Carson:
picture used from dailyphotowall.net