Published By: 1World Online
Sharing is the ultimate expression of generosity; it shows that one is kind, considerate and not selfish. It also shows that we consider the needs of others to be as important as our own. To share with those who are less fortunate than us is to offer an intimate and revealing part of ourselves.
But should the act of sharing be a voluntary character trait or a forced one? It is an interesting question and especially when we are teaching our very own children how to share. Forcing a toddler to share a toy or other possessions with other children may not be the best approach – according to some leading, child psychologists.
And that’s because children under the age of 3-years-old do not have the developmental ability to understand the act of sharing. To a toddler, possession is more than nine-tenths of the law – it is total, unabashed ownership.
Telling a child under the age of three that they are greedy is a total waste of time. The act of sharing is a developmental, understanding that comes in the later stages of a child’s, mental conditioning. Forcing them to share can have far greater drawbacks than parents realize.
For instance, when you force a toddler to share a toy with another child you promote the ideology – to the child receiving the toy – that they can get anything they want on demand. It also teaches both children that everything they own has to be shared with society without hesitation.
When I was raising my children, I was always amused at how other parents would readily jump between two kids fighting over a toy. Some parents would take the toy away from the kid who owned it and give it to the other kid. Whether or not that was simply to shut the demanding kid up or prove to the other parents that they were better parents baffled me.
Are you forcing your toddler to share to make yourself look better? It’s a question that every parent should ask themselves before they snatch a toy away from their own child and give it to another kid.
Parents should wait until children are older (after three-years-old) to teach them how to share. I found with my children that telling them that sharing makes you a smarter and more caring person always had positive results. On the flip-side, parents should teach their kids not to demand possessions that do not belong to them.
Sharing comes from the heart – it is a voluntary act – it is not a societal, entitlement.
Joseph E. Rathjen is a freelance writer, book author and an Opinion Writer at 1World Online – America’s Fastest Growing Social Research Engine