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Friday, January 27, 2012

Sharing

We were at Evan's doctor earlier this week, and they have this awesome train set. He was the only kid playing with it, so of course he was playing with all the trains (there were 4 or 5 of them). Another kid about the same age came over a few minutes later. We gave the kid 2 of the trains, but of course Evan wanted to take them back. The other kid let him and didn't complain.

I know this is how kids this age play, but I couldn't help feeling bad about Evan taking the kid's trains away. So, I pulled out the "Evan, we should share" card, knowing damn well he doesn't know what this means. We kept giving the other kid a train or two, but Evan kept trying to take them back.

Eventually, we took him away from the table because I didn't want the other kid (and mom) to get upset. Unfortunately, but expectantly, Evan did get upset. Of course he did! He was happily playing and did not get why we were taking him away from the toys.

I know that we did this because we were embarrassed, even though we know it's normal. We didn't want to be the parents of the "bully" or the "selfish one" - that we had to show the other parents we're trying to mold Evan into a perfect child with perfect manners.

I hate doing that - just hate it. I mean, every parent knows (or should know) that kids this age don't get sharing, so why can't we just let them play the way they want to without trying to shove our ideals of how to play "properly" down their throats (as long as no one is getting really upset or physically hurt)?

Interestingly enough, about 10 minutes later a group of four older kids were playing with the train set (Evan was playing with it again at this time because the other kid left). They came, took trains from Evan, and it was all fine. Evan just played in his own corner, and so did the other kids.

The mom of those kids didn't say a thing about "sharing" or anything - she just let them play, so did we, and everyone was happy. Perhaps being a mother of 4, she knew there was no point saying anything, or perhaps she was just tired - either way, I think I have a thing or two to learn from someone like her!