EP25 – Mine!!! Your Kids Don’t Share Because…
Sharing is a learned skill. It has nothing to do with birth order.
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Hey, welcome to this episode of I don't know Jack about parenting, where today I want to talk to you about why your kids don't share.
Hey, welcome back to this episode of, I don't know Jack about parenting where today I'm going to talk about why your kids do not share.
He wants to play with his brother's older toys
And I don't know why this just came into my mind, but, uh, a couple of years ago, uh, and maybe it's because you, all of you know that I, I have a seven year old. I have a one year old is at a point where my one year old and my seven year old, right? He wants to play with his brother's older toys. But the brother wants to play with some of his younger toys as he's rediscovering some of the things that he doesn't really remember. Like, oh, this toy is cool. I'm like, it used to be yours. Uh, but what comes to mind is I was on a, uh, on a playground a number of years ago, probably when the older one was about four. He's playing around, he's doing things, uh, and, and on this particular playground there is the five and older playground.
But then there's the five and under playground where the super small slides and things of that nature and it's shaped as a choo choo train. So the kids kind of like, they go up on the choo choo and they're playing with these things. And so my, my four year old at the time wants to go over in. He just wants to go and here's a maybe a two year old girl there and she says, this is mine. And the mother's slightly embarrassed. And she goes, oh, she's an only child. And I said, okay. And in my mind, right, I don't know Jack about parenting, but I know that there's these stereotypes of an only child, the middle child, an older child, the first child is always your best, the second child's a little crazy and the third child is a spoiled little Brat because he gets all the attention or, or, or something to that effect.
He could just come up to me whenever he wanted
So as she said that just something stirred in me. I was like, man, I don't buy into that because I have an only child at the time and he will share why? Because I have taught him how to share, see, we have to give the kids the tools to be able to share. So for instance, I have my one year old now since he's, I don't know, he's been walking since he's nine months. And so that's about when he could just come up to me whenever he wanted and eat whatever was on my plate. So I am one who eats on the go pretty often or I'll snack throughout the day. And I've been eating really clean for the last probably about six months now. So anything that's on my plate is good enough for him. I'm not eating any fried foods. I eating a lot of fruits, a lot of vegetables, a lot of dishes that are just a toddler or infant compliant.
So he would come up to me and maybe I'm eating some yogurt with some fruit, maybe a little bit of oats in there, and I would just feed it to them. So anything that's on daddy's plate is good enough for him. I'm going to share with you. It's interesting now that he has food and he has access to things or we're giving him a snack or a cookie. If I pick him up when he has food in his hand, he often wants to give me some of it and who am I to deny a gift from a child? I'm not. I don't say, oh no, that's yours because that implies that your food and I have my food, but if he's willing to share, I always say thank you. This is delicious.
I can't give a kid a lobster
It maybe this is what's reminding me of this sharing title. Why don't your kids share? The question is, do you share with your child, do you say, no, this is mommy or daddy's dish. You're not going to like this. I always, always, if my kids want to try something, I let them try. I always tell them when they're about to try something, if they don't like it, they don't have to eat it. Um, because I understand that children's palates are different than adults pallets. I can't give a kid a lobster and expect them to like it. I can't give a kid a spinach all the time and expect him to like it or Broccoli, but I really don't want him to despise it so that he doesn't try it as an adult. Does that make sense? When is pallet's ready, and he learns to enjoy something.
I want him to say, Oh, I actually liked this. I don't want them to him. I have kid boys. So your kids, you don't want him or her to have just a negative connotation surrounding a particular food or anything. So I allow them to try it. Let's get back to this young lady and to this two year old on the playground. So she had just told me that her little playground was her's. So guess what had happened. She came up to the big boy playground than I. I'm the type of dad that goes down all the slides. Uh, I am running around with the kids playing tag. I'm playing hide and go seek with the kids see, l don't know Jack about parenting. But I know something about just people in general.
She has this stunned look on her face
People like people who have good energy, right? So these kids, if I'm playing with them, they're like, well he's just a big kid. Let's play. So I'm up on top of the slide and that little girl happens to be on the slide and she's, she looks at me and I said, this is mine. This is my playground. And she like looks. And she, she has this stunned look on her face for those you are not watching on YouTube. She just, her eyes get big, like an owl's eyes and she looks at me and I would a big smile on our face as we're sitting side by side on slides that go down and racing slides if you would. I go, but I'm willing to share it with you because you're my friend. Can I share my playground with you?
And she looks at me with a big smile and she says, yes. I said, great, do you want to race me down the slide? And she said yes. And she had all this great energy around it and she was like, I want to share with you because you share with me. So we go down the slide. I give her a big high five, and I was like, that was awesome. Was that fun? She's like, yes. I go, do you want to race again? She said no... To my disappointment. Right. But she was okay. Well, let's fast forward about 10 minutes. She's back over on her little slide all by herself and her mom's over there and her mom witnessed this and I. and I said, mom, so you, she's an only child so she said yeah. So she doesn't like to share. She said, no. I said, mom watch this. I say, can you share your playground with me? And with the big, huge, beautiful owl eyes that she had. She say yes because I shared with her.
Then the parent uses the excuse
See, these are learnable skills, but if a child hears a parent or a sibling or just other people saying, no, those are not yours. These are your toys, these are my toys. You can't play with them. Guess what happens? They start hearing well you can't play with mine, these are mine. This is mine. They learned the word mine from the parent and then here's the part in this particular instance that I find fascinating. Then the parent uses the excuse that I don't want to teach my kid how to share. I don't want to put any energy into that.
I'm just going to say, well, their only child and only children just don't share. They don't have to share. You're right. They don't have to share with other siblings, but they should have to share with their parents. They should have to share with their cousins. If they bump into her cousins, they should have to share if they're at daycare with other. When when they get old enough to say the word mine or no, they should also learn the words yes and share. So it's whatever they're taught is why is is their behavior not because they're an only child and it defaults to them learning the word mine and selfishness.
About the Author
Ryan Roy is the father of two boys and on a mission to be the dad he wished he had... and to help other fathers be the best they can be too.
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