Why do we teach kids to share?

Posted: February 16, 2012 in Random

I was thinking about this awhile ago when hanging out with my niece and nephews.  Of course, when kids get together they want to play with the toy that someone else is playing with instead of the multitude of options in the toy box.  The default parenting response seems to be “share with your brother/sister/cousin/friend!”  But why?  Why don’t kids have control over their OWN toys?

Think about it for a second.  As an adult, how much do you really share?  I mean, sure, you help your friends out when they need it, but that’s not exactly sharing.  Picture this: You’ve saved up some money for a down payment on a new car.  The first day you drive it, you’re friend says, “hey, that’s a nice car. Can I borrow it for the weekend?”  What?!  No way.  I doubt you would just let your friend take your day-old car for the weekend while you stay stuck at home without a ride.

That’s how kids are treated, tho.  It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas day and they just opened the presents 5 minutes ago.  If the other children in the house like the gifts and try to play with them whether the owner (that’s right, owner – the person that received and, therefore, owns the toy) wants them to or not, he/she is scolded and told to share.

Instead of harping on kids to share against their will, maybe we should be telling the other kids to keep their damn hands off of things that don’t belong to them. After all, that’s a valuable lesson to learn when they grow up. Sharing, however, is overrated.

  1. An interesting take on this subject. Something to think about… 🙂

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