Honestly, I was going to write about something totally different, but my Saturday morning fun with the twins changed my mind. Since my husband stayed home with the 1 year old, I figured taking the twins to the local park would be such a laid back experience.
Boy, was I wrong. Everything was going great until a little boy ran off with my kids sandbox scooper. Those tin scoopers are so popular within the kid circuit. After I retrieved the missing goods. I noticed the other scooper was missing, too. So, now I’ve turned into Sherlock Holmes dripping sweat looking for clues trying to find the other tin scooper. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind kids playing with my kids toys if they’re ok with it. But, I’ve lost so many toys in that sandbox, and I couldn’t lose the scooper it wasn’t something I could replace from the dollar store. So, I had to find it. Now back to the “if they’re ok with it ” I know you’re wondering what does that mean. It means, I allow my kids to make the decision if its ok for a stranger to play with their toys.
I came up with that rule from an article I once read on Facebook by Alanya Kolberg. In this article the mom said she got a lot of dirty looks from other parents because her son wouldn’t share his toys with complete strangers and she didn’t make him. She later explained she didn’t make him share because if she went to the park with a sandwich she wouldn’t be expected to share her sandwich with complete strangers. So, why should we expect a toddler to share his/her toys with a complete stranger. She felt compelling a child to share might be why some adults CAN’T say no to people, or set boundaries, or practice self-care.
That article changed my whole approach to sharing. I still make my kids share with each other most of the time because I want to instill in my kids whenever a sibling is in need the others have their back no matter what. Now with strangers I pretty much give them complete control. I always ask them if its ok if XYZ kid can play with their things and 95% of the time they say sure unless they are playing with it. At that point, they say “Not now I’ll let you know when I’m finished”, and I’m completely ok with that. I want to raise thinkers. Yeah it bites me in the butt some times, but I’m actually very proud of the independent thinkers I’ve produced. But, like Kolberg said the goal is to teach our children how to function as adults right?