Imagine this: You have just settled yourself down at your favorite coffee shop with a hot drink and you open up your laptop. A stranger walks up to you and says,
“Hey, let me have a turn on that thing.”
You say, “Um, no. This is MY laptop.”
He says, “No fair! It’s my turn!”
And then he goes and tells on you to the barista. The barista comes over and says, “OK, I think you’ve had enough time on the laptop. It’s time to give your friend a turn.”
And then she takes your laptop away from you. That’s crazy, right?
Well, that’s probably how our kids feel each time we make them share.
Here are 9 reasons why I won’t make my kids share with your kids:
1. I’m not rocking that boat. If my child is absorbed in an activity that doesn’t involve an on/off button, everybody just better back off. I mean, I wouldn’t take away your cake ingredients while you were making a cake, right? The kid is making a cake. If he wants your help, he’ll ask for it.
2. CONCENTRATION. You are reading a book and you have just gotten to the most exciting part where you find out who the killer is and….somebody comes and throws your book out the window. I would feel like a crazy person if I knew I couldn’t get sucked into an activity without someone interrupting me or taking my stuff away. Oh wait, I’m a mom. That happens all the time. OK. My mental state is becoming much clearer to me.
3. I won’t throw them under the bus. I’m not going to be the one to take that pivotal lego piece away from my daughter when she’s obviously creating something…very tall. Her legos. Her rules.
4. It’s weird. Sharing is weird. As adults, do we share our cars? Our ottomans? Our husbands? Last I checked, I wasn’t a sister wife.
5. I’m not interested in fair. Contrary to popular belief in the grade school set, life actually ISN’T fair. And it won’t ever be. Good luck out there, little people. Yes, that kid has had the toy for longer than you. That’s rough, but I think you’ll make it through.
6. Choices. Choices. Choices. I have spent my entire parenting career (yes, career) teaching my kids to make their own choices about stuff. Their choices, their consequences. I’m not about to take 10 steps backward just so another kid can have a turn rocking my daughter’s favorite baby.
7. Boundaries. File under Important Life Skills: being able to firmly say “No.” Well, unless it’s about trying the broccolini or pants-wearing.
8. They will still be able to cooperate. And be functioning members of society. I’m almost totally sure.
9. It might create nicer people. Maybe if children learn that they can’t have everything they want right when they want it, there will be a lot nicer people growing up in the world. You know, people who don’t throw a temper tantrum at every little provocation…or, um…make nasty comments on blog posts when they don’t agree with the author. Just sayin’.