I like Alfie Kohn books and from them, I learned why not to make kids share. They were different reasons, but I see this reasoning being just as good. His first reason was, that at that age when parents usually teach them to share, they are not developmentally ready to share. He also said that we, as adults, do not share everything with everyone. I have my linocut supplies, which I would never share with my husband or kids. I hate it when my kids get into my file cabinet. My new, nice books are not to be touched by the kids. Sharing husbands is not what we do in the adult world. I do not share my kids. I do not let whomever, come in my house when they feel the need, because of my golden heart, and share my house. I do not share my private life details. They are mine. See? There are certain things we do not share, even in the adult world! The third reason is this: forcing them will not help them to make the decision themselves. Sharing is kind and it is also their choice. Instead, I say to my kids, before a play date, that we should hide the toys they do not wand to share. I ask, “Which toys do you want to share?” Sometimes I forget. If I do, and the other child wants the toy my child loves, I say, “He does not want to share his car and that is o.k. Would you like to play with one of these instead?”
This will better prepare them for the real, adult world. They will not share everything when they get older. Why should they when they are little? It makes no sense to force them to share!
I do think there is merit in teaching them to share in other situations. For example, with food. If there is only one cookie and my child wants it all to herself, I say this: “If you share, you can eat it in front of them. If you do not wish to share, go hide, and eat it in private.” My kids sometimes choose to share. Sometimes, they choose to hide it wnd eat it later, in private.
They are also learning, that sharing is nice to do and can make the other person happy. I let them learn this on their own, and they do learn it on their own. Sometimes, even with q toy they love, they will, out of the blue, say, “You can use this if you want.” Then they see the other person’s happiness, and smile. They enjoy seeing the other happy. It was their choice, so they are aboe to feel the good feelings that come from sharing. If I had forced it, they would have only felt resentment toward me, toward the other child, and toward the society rules which make them do this thing. They would learn to hate sharing.
I hope this article was enjoyable and that you understand me a little more now!