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to think other mums are shit at teaching sharing

(209 Posts)
tifflins Mon 03-Oct-11 20:34:27

My children are no angels. My parenting is far from perfect, but I do try (really hard) to teach my 3 year old DS to share his toys, not only with friends who visit our home, but strangers in the park or whatever. He finds the whole sharing concept pretty annoying tbh but I persevere. Situation today whereby my son 'borrowed' another little boys' bucket at the splash pool. The other little boy got upset and just as I was telling my DS to give the bucket back, the little boy ran off and told his grandma that a nasty monster had 'stolen' his bucket. The grandma came over at the exact time my DS was (finally) giving back the bucket and said to me in an exasperating tone and heavy sarcastic sigh 'thank you' (as if I was colluding with my DS to steal another boys toy). The boy took his bucket back and promptly dismissed and didnt play with it. Another situation on holiday with friends showed me that my friends' sons toys belonged to him and him alone, but my DS toys were supposed to be shared with this other little boy. At no point on the holiday did she encourage her son to share his toys, despite me bending over backwards to get my DS to share. I mean, for fucks sake, whats wrong with some people?! Anybody elses thoughts on this would be great.

thisisyesterday Mon 03-Oct-11 20:37:00

well. ,having twice had buckets stolen inadvertantly taken by other people at the paddling pool/sand pit I will admit to keeping a very close eye on our stuff tbh

I don't think it's unreasonable to teach children that they have things that belong to them, and that they don't have to let other people use them if they don't want to.

I mean, I would be none to pleased if my neighbour came round and used my car and then said I ought to share.

thisisyesterday Mon 03-Oct-11 20:38:14

although ftr, despite me not forcing my kids to share, they do actually share with other children very nicely!

SexualHarrassmentPandaPop Mon 03-Oct-11 20:38:15

As well as sharing you also need to teach not taking without asking first.

squeakytoy Mon 03-Oct-11 20:38:59

Sharing with friends is one thing, allowing just any strange kid to play with your toys just because they want to is not the same.

mumblejumble Mon 03-Oct-11 20:40:08

Well I teach my children to share, but I also teach them that they have the right to their own things and no-one should take them, or borrow without asking. And if others do ask, they are perfectly entitled to refuse permission.

GwendolineMaryLacey Mon 03-Oct-11 20:40:10

This bugs me. Why should children share their toys, really? thisisyesterday is spot on. She ain't sharing her car, I ain't sharing my iPad, why should the boy share his bucket just because your son wants it? Give me one good reason. Seems to me that teaching your children to share is done purely to make you feel like a good parent. Doesn't actually teach them very much at all.

WhizziesMum Mon 03-Oct-11 20:41:32

I agree with squeaky- I would encourage my child to share with siblings or friends, but probably not with some random stranger in the park.

Groovee Mon 03-Oct-11 20:41:39

It's a fact of life that children often find it hard to share. We have non stop wailing as some children will walk up to a toy and promptly want it and try to take it while the child who hasn't finished playing with it puts up a fight to get it back.

At nursery they have to learn to share but it's not an easy process. Some are fantastic while others do have the belief that it's their right to have which ever toy they wish.

Sometimes children who share beautifully don't want to share one day. It's a learning process and sometimes it takes another adult to make them understand.

slavetofilofax Mon 03-Oct-11 20:41:56

You shouldn't have allowed your son to take another boys bucket in the first place, so yabu about that. There shouldn't have been time for the boy to get upset, go to his carer, tell her and then come back before you had got the bucket off your child.

The other Mum on holiday sounds mean. But just because you were happy to share your ds's toys, doesn't mean she has to. She should have taken the opportunity to teach her child about sharing regardless of you doing it.

If you are this zealous about sharing, you need to be careful that you don't go too far and make your son feel like you don't respect that his things are his. I own plenty of stuff that I wouldn't lend to other people, and my children have the right to decide what happens to their possesions as much as I have with mine.

tifflins Mon 03-Oct-11 20:42:52

If my DS had taken a bucket to the splash pool or beach or wherever and wasn't playing with it and another child came along who wanted to, I would feel happy with that. If my DS kicked up a fuss about it I would explain that it's kind to share and he wasn't interested in the toy at that time anyway. I wouldn't snatch it back off the poor child playing with it in a terrotorial way.

But I can see the points you are making other posters, thanks.

SingingSands Mon 03-Oct-11 20:42:53

So children don't like to share. The sooner you realise this, the less stressed you will be. Teaching kids to share takes a long, long time. Sometimes kids grow up and leave home and live with other people and they still don't share. It's human nature. If we are honest we would probably admit that we don't like to share, we are just doing it to be polite. smile

Oggy Mon 03-Oct-11 20:43:30

While I can understand that it would have been kind of the boy and Grandma to share his toys with your son, you seem to think that it should have been taken forgranted that he could share them, I don't get that.

Certainly if anbother child I didn't know wanted to share my childrens toys I would be happy for them too if my own children weren't using them but I would have no expectation that random strangers should let my kids share their toys. It's kind oif they offer, sure, but no expectation or being pissed off if they don't.

Perhaps I have misunderstood, apologies if I have.

ArtVandelay Mon 03-Oct-11 20:43:31

Hmmm... depends what it is... another baby/toddler grappling one of DS inflatables at the pool, no problem. A visiting child messing about with DS's books or other things he holds dear then I'll probably put stuff away before they come round so they can't even touch it. I think some stuff lends itself to sharing better than others and you also have to evaluate your borrower!

halcyondays Mon 03-Oct-11 20:44:28

I'd get upset too if I was a little child and a stranger pinched my bucket. I think if you are at a playgroup then of course you need to share toys, if you have someone at your house to play, you should share your toys, but if you are at the park, then I wouldn't expect a child to have to share with anyone that came along, unless they made friend's with them and wanted to share.

Perhaps your friend on holiday should have got her ds to share his toys if your ds was sharing his.

SoupDragon Mon 03-Oct-11 20:44:45

I think other mums are shit at teaching their children not to just take stuff that isn't theirs. [shrug]

RitaMorgan Mon 03-Oct-11 20:45:17

I'm not that into making young children "share" - it's usually done in a way that adults would never do.

I wouldn't make a child share a toy with a stranger if they didn't want to.

I wouldn't make a child share toys they are playing with either.

Other than that, "special" toys should be put away if you don't want anyone else touching them - if you aren't currently playing with something then friends/siblings can use it.

LingDiLong Mon 03-Oct-11 20:45:55

YABU and reading way too much into what happened at the splash pool. Of course the little boy ran off and told his grandma, how was he to know that his toy hadn't been taken for good? The deep sigh from the grandma might well have been a 'tsk, kids of this age and sharing hey?!' kind of a sigh rather than some kind of accusation - you've read a hell of a lot into a simple Thank You there.

I also don't get the insistence that small kids share their toys with complete strangers personally. On the beach yesterday I witnessed a mum absolutely haranguing a kid of about 2 or 3 because her child wanted the toy he had. Every time her toddler reached out for it, she said crossly and loudly, 'No you can't have it, he won't share' over and over again whilst glaring daggers at the kid. This child was clearly a stranger to her and her toddler but she seriously seemed cross that he hadn't just handed his toy over to her. Wierd, and lacking in any understanding of how young children think.

pocketfullofposies Mon 03-Oct-11 20:48:00

I think in this case you were wrong.

Yes, sharing is important, but it's also important to teach your children to look after their things and I think there is a big difference between sharing with friends and siblings and letting a stranger wander off with your stuff.

It also sounds to me that the sarcastic thank you was directed at you because the other parent thought you were somewhat lacking and should have intervened.

Sharing, to me, is about manners more than anything and I think it's very bad mannered to teach your child that it's basically ok to just take other people's stuff.

Oggy Mon 03-Oct-11 20:52:06

I find the sharing thing can get a bit ridiculous in "polite" company.

Was at a friends the other day and both girls wanted the princess cup. Us mums got into a ridiculous friendly argument - her trying to force her daughter to share it nicely by letting my daughter ise it and me strenuoulsy insisting to my daughter that it was x's cup so she should use it. Kids gave up caring by the time we finished out-doing eachother with manners.

sheffieldunited Mon 03-Oct-11 20:54:07

I've always taught my little girl to share and she's actually quite good at sharing toys and food. (Most of the time.) However, if she does try and take a strangers something I would ask the child/adult if we can borrow it. If they say no I'd make sure she knows that that's life.
I understand that we don't need to share everything, but in my experience of teaching small children those that can't share do struggle sometimes. As it has a knock on effect with playing games, taking turns and accepting that although you were on the bike first it does not mean you own it and nobody else should have a go.

HoHoLaughingMonster Mon 03-Oct-11 20:57:09

I well don't feel obliged to share my things with random strangers in the park and I don't expect DD to either.

Likewise I don't encourage her to wander off with other children's toys without asking first.

If an adult did that they would be accused of stealing.

minimisschief Mon 03-Oct-11 20:58:03

well in your first example the other kid wasn't sharing the bucket and your son did steal it. it wasn't his to take and i am guessing by the other kids reaction he didn't ask if he could borrow it.

in your second example the parents probably got fed up with other children ruining their childs toys. And quite rightly so they have no obligation to get them to share them

tifflins Mon 03-Oct-11 21:01:10

For the record:
my son did not and does not 'steal'.
my son does not just 'take' what he wants.
I was dealing with my other newborn son at the time my son started playing with the discarded bucket, but I'm sure you all find it easy dealing with more than one child at a time.
I am fully aware the sarcastic grandma comment was directed at me.
We are talking about a bloody bucket, not a car or ipad (but i would lend my car to a friend, for that matter, im pretty generous).
I must make sure I am more of a perfect mother next time.
You lot are nothing like my real life mum friends!

moogalicious Mon 03-Oct-11 21:02:53

I hate sharing. And I'm 40 <hides in corner and scoffs secret chocolate>

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