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Wednesday, February 4, 2015


my girls, sharing Girl Scout cookie sales duties

Of all the pieces of Internet wisdom I click on each week, something that's really stuck with me is this article about a preschool that does't make kids share. I started doing this, and guess what? It works.

I just...don't make my kids share anymore. If you think about it, sharing is a little curious. I don't share all that much in my everyday life. If someone wants a bite of my sandwich, I might give it to them, but it's still MY sandwich. 

Real life scenario: one child brings home a gift or treasure they got from school. In the car, the other one wants to see it.

Daughter 1 "No! I just got it"
Daughter 2 "She's not sharing!!"
Me "Let her see it, we have to share!"
Daughter 1 (escalating. pitch of voice rising) "But it's MY bracelet/snowman/paper clip/etc!!!"
Daughter 2 "Giveee it toooo meeeeeeee; I want to seeee it!!!!!"
Me (also attempting to drive) ((super exhasperated)) "Give it to her NOW"

I don't need to tell you that just gets worse from there. 

So, about a year ago I read that article and decided to try something new. Instead of insisting on sharing, I say, "It looks like she isn't ready to share that right now."

And that's it. 

Weird, right? 

What usually happens next is this:

Daughter 1 "Okay, I'll play with it until the next red light then you can have it."  or 
"I don't want to share this, but do you want a sticker?" 

And just like that: crisis averted; life skill learned.

Now listen, it's not a panacea; healthy arguments still happen. "You never share!" is still a phrase I hear once in a while, but overall, my kids are wayyy better at working it out than they were before.

So, how do you handle sharing issues among siblings or friends? Have you or would you ever tried this no-sharing strategy?

I'm quietly getting back in to blogging over here, so- keep me honest, readers. I'll be posting something new every Wednesday and perhaps some carefully curated Internet nonsense wisdom on Fridays.

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