Yes, I Make My Kids Share

I recently read an article on Scary Mommy. It was about telling our kids they don’t have to share. It’s had thousands of positive responses. It was a fantastic article, but I have to admit – I don’t agree.

I still hold the (newly) unpopular mindset. I will always ask my children to share. In our family, we call it taking turns. “When I’m done, you can have a turn.” Sometimes, we’ll even set a timer so we don’t forget our promise. While I have explained to them time and time again that not everyone chooses to share this way, we do. There are few exceptions. Here is why:

I believe it takes a village to raise a child. I believe teamwork builds success. I believe the kindness of strangers has the power to change our selfish world. I believe asking our children to be thoughtful is how we facilitate the change.

In the comments of the article, I saw a reference to someone walking through the park sharing4.jpgwith a sandwich, unwilling to share if asked. Heck, if someone wanted that sandwich bad enough to ask for it, I’d give it to them. Clearly, they need the sandwich more than I do.

But how, exactly, does that relate to a toy on the playground?

Learning to share at an early age teaches children the value of people and that relationships are more important than toys.

In addition, not everyone is blessed with the same status.

sharing2Maybe that toy is the one toy he has been wanting, but they just can’t justify the cost. Maybe she wants to try it out before putting it on her birthday list. Maybe he struggles socially and asking your child to share is his way of saying hello.

In any case it certainly doesn’t hurt my children to learn how to build relationships with love, kindness, and friendship.

Generosity will serve them well in every stage of life.

So if you’re ever walking through the park, hungry enough to ask for my sandwich – please do. It’s my pleasure to share it with you.


Sharing with Others: A Book about Selfishness


4 thoughts on “Yes, I Make My Kids Share

  1. I am now your biggest fan!! I agree with you 100%. What has happened to the world that being selfish is more important than empathy or respect or kindness? What happened to the golden rule?! And if anyone thinks that putting themselves first is going to get them further in life than someone else… they clearly don’t have much experience with life. Even the biggest CEOs know that thinking of their employees’ well being before themselves is more beneficial to the entire company than criticizing their employees. One word… Karma! I love this post! Well said!


  2. Holy cow do I agree with you! I read the article and I can certainly respect their point of view but no, I don’t agree with it. I loved your insight on kindness and generosity. I’m certainly not trying to raise selfish humans who won’t take the time to help someone else. Thank you for this!!


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