Sorry for such a long hiatus, I’ve just finished up work in the last week and we have just returned from our annual family vacation in the Okanagan. And boy let me tell you this year was definitely different than last year. While Hazel was definitely running around and up to no good last year, it was nothing compared to what she was like this year. This girl does not stand still and boy can she move fast. It doesn’t really help being 9 months pregnant, keeping up in the heat was not happening! My poor hubby spent 90% of our trip running after her and thank goodness for the countless family members and friends that swooped her up as she ran by. Evan even had other random campers say they loved her name and laughed every time they heard us calling after her all week!
Two is definitely an interesting age, everyday Hazel seems to be pushing more boundaries and testing new limits to see what she can and can’t do. Each and everyday Evan and I are left in shock and amazement with some of the things she can do and say on her own. It’s crazy how fast they develop from babies to tiny humans with HUGE attitudes. This recent trip brought us a situation that we haven’t really had to deal with yet, sharing.
Our campsite was filled with several littles ones, all varying in age from 1 years old to 8 years old. Each kid arrived for a sugar filled week of fun in the sun, bringing a few of their favourite toys from home and some brand new ones their parents picked up at the local dollar store. Now in the mind-set of any two-year old, that shiny new toy the kid standing next to you has is definitely better than yours and you HAVE to have it. Once you get your dirty little fingers onto it you’re not letting go, without a very dramatic fight as it is now YOURS. Am I right or am I right? Now it doesn’t help that every child is over stimulated, over tired and over sugared, this combination can be deadly regardless of sharing or not. But it brings me to the question, when is a good age to instil sharing and when is it appropriate to insist that a child shares?
Imagine this, you go to the store and pick yourself up a new book, you get all settled into your lounge chair by the pool and 10 minutes later I sit down beside you. I glance over and say “Oh wow, that book looks great, I would love to read it too.” Is your response going to be “Sure, let me just finish this chapter and then you can read a couple chapters and give it back to me, we can share.” I can reassure you it’s absolutely not, assuming we are friends your response is probably going to be something along the lines of “So far its a great read, when I am finished, you can borrow it, I am sure you will love it.” So I have to ask, why do we force our children to behave this way? Why do we force them to take turns when they aren’t ready to? Why do we not let them finish and when they are done let the next kid have a turn? Don’t get me wrong I am all for teaching our children how to take turns and to share with others. But I do believe that if we teach them that they can automatically assume they will have a turn within a few minutes that we are setting them up for a harsh dose of reality later on in life. I think teaching them patience and that they can’t always get what they want is going to provide them with better life and social skills. Instead of trying to reason with a two year old on the verge of a giant meltdown, telling them that their turn will be in a few minutes, I am going to approach the situation a bit different from now on. I am going to do my best to explain to her that so and so is using the toy and that when they are done she can have a turn but in the mean time she could do something else and offer an alternative.
I would love to hear your take on sharing, what do you believe is the best way to teach our kids? Do you have a solution that works for you?