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Sharing. I can't decide.

(14 Posts)
HuffwardlyRouge Sat 18-Jul-09 18:46:46

We were out today when dd(3) asked if she could have an ice cream. We said yes and were soon sitting on a bench while dd ate her ice cream.

Ds(1) saw it and wanted some. I asked dd if she would share some of her ice cream with her brother. She said no. She declined to give her dad or me a lick either.

My instinct is that I can't blame her. If we wanted ice cream we should have bought one ourselves.

But then it is polite to share. If I had an ice cream I would share it with family because that would be the kind, generous and pleasant thing to do. Shouldn't I be encouraging dd to be kind, generous and pleasant?

What do you think?
What if it was something more easily shared, such as a packet of sweeties?

roisin Sat 18-Jul-09 19:07:23

It's not 'natural' to share, but it is polite so it needs to be taught and encouraged. I wouldn't necessarily make a big deal of her behaviour at the time, but I would do the following:

At a future point you could model sharing and do this whilst 'thinking aloud'. "I have a packet of chocolate buttons here, I could just eat them all myself, and I would like to eat them all myself because I like chocolate buttons. But if I give one to dd and one to ds and one to dp that will make them happy too, because I know they chocolate buttons too and it's not very nice for them to sit watching me eat chocolate buttons.

If/when she chooses to share something in future make sure you praise her for those choices.

HuffwardlyRouge Sat 18-Jul-09 19:41:47

Lead by example. Yes. That's a good way of doing it. I like the idea that she will come to be a pleasant and sharing human being in the fullness of time, and without us insisting and forcing.

misshardbroom Sat 18-Jul-09 22:00:37

Difficult, isn't it?

The other day I took DS 1 & DS2 with me to the post office just before collecting DD from school. In a rare flash of generosity, I said they could each have some sweets and they chose a finger of Fudge apiece. I also bought one for DD.

I told them they could choose whether to have it straight away or wait for DD to come out of school. Unsurprisingly, they scoffed them straight away, but then wanted 'a little bite' of hers.

Whilst I would normally encourage sharing, on this occasion I told DD not to give them any, because I thought it was more important they learned about instant vs delayed gratification than she learned about sharing.

Is this right or wrong?

(incidentally, Huffwardly, had DS opted not to have ice cream? Wasn't sure from your OP why he hadn't had one in the first place)

cakefaced Sat 18-Jul-09 22:34:35

I would not ask a child to share an ice-cream, because it means other people licking something that you will then lick. If you lick it its your! ALthough I do "tidy up" melting ice-cream when dd (3) doesn't eat fast enough, but thats not sharing grin. Its different to sharing a bag of sweets, toys or pencils which won't involve sharing saliva.

Learning to share is important, but you shouldn't have to share if someone scoffed theirs and you carefully saved yours for later. That would really annoy me and simply encourage me to wolf down anything I was given just in case someone wanted to "share" it later.

alibaabaa Sat 18-Jul-09 22:53:16

I find this a difficult one. Although I would like my little ladies to grow up as lovely human beings - i get so annoyed when I constantly hear 'oh, you should share this and you should share that'. Why??? Most adults I know wouldn't share, and I bet they were all forced to share when growing up.
I leave it to my DD1 discretion at the minute. She is 2.10 years old. My folks and I were playing with her the other day. Good old Grandad gave her some sweets. When grandad asked if he could have one, she said 'no grandad, you gave them to me - if you had wanted one, you should have kept one'. We couldn't argue with that!!!! I then asked for one, and she told me 'no, grandad gave them to me for being good, what have you done to be good mammy?' again, with a smile, we couldn't argue!!! Grandma didn't ask for one, she told grandad and I off ofr trying to nick the kids sweets off her. DD1 then said to grandma 'course, you can have one grandma, because you didn't ask'.
We all laughed and realised, that somewhere in that, they will naturally share if not forced!!!
I wouldn't make my little ones ever share, I will just remind them how nice it would be and how soon, the person they may share with, may just share something back!!!!

onepieceoflollipop Sat 18-Jul-09 22:57:21

Why didn't your ds have his own?

I think in this type of situation (sweets/icecream whilst out) you need to decide before buying the item. i.e. make clear to the dcs that you/they will choose a packet of sweets each/to share. Icecreams (imo) aren't really sharing-type items.

I don't think you should buy one icecream and then when she has it put pressure on her to share it. Icecreams are difficult to share. We do share a lot with our dds, and dd1 in particular (she's 5) is now fairly generous with sharing.

LynetteScavo Sat 18-Jul-09 23:07:59

Well, I wouldn't share my ice cream with any one either.

proverbial Sat 18-Jul-09 23:22:21

Personally, I would have said before buying it that it would be shared, if I had 2 children with me and only bought one ice cream.
My DS1 is very good at sharing, I think its more his personality than anything we have done though, he just seems to be naturally generous at almost 5. He never has to be asked to share with his younger brother, and will usually insist on giving me a sweet/bite whatever even if I don't want one!

HuffwardlyRouge Sun 19-Jul-09 11:12:28

Ds didn't have his own because he's 15 months old and doesn't need an ice cream to himself. They were quite big. Too big for dd really (which we didn't realise prior to buying it). Ds only wanted a little taste.

Usually dh or I would have had one too and shared ours with ds. We have no scruples about communal family ice creams!

I suppose I'm thinking more generally about when to encourage sharing and when she really doesn't have to, rather than getting hung up on yesterday's ice cream.

Well today she had some sweeties and offered some to her friends. And she gave her brother a bite of her sandwich. Granted it was the world's smallest crumb of a bite, but the intent was there.

This situation of dd having something and being asked to share seems to crop up a lot.

misshardbroom Sun 19-Jul-09 12:05:29

sorry, clearly I didn't read your post properly!

I read it as 'DS1 wanted some', rather than 'DS(1) wanted some'. No, don't think I'd buy a whole ice cream for a 15m old either, and in this situation probably reasonable for DD to give him a lick!

Also, she's only 3 herself, it's a steep learning curve. You're definitely doing the right thing by encouraging the sharing and praising her efforts.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 19-Jul-09 12:10:49

Ooh an alibabaa. Not sure how I feel about that!

OP - I think it's a tough one. I can remember being forced to share a present with my brothers once and having huge resentment about it. It's best not forced I think, just encourage where you can and praise when she does share and she'll soon get the right idea.

zubin Sun 19-Jul-09 12:20:50

I think if I had only bought one icecream between 2 children, even though youngest is very young he is old enough to know he wants some, I would have said - you need to share with your brother. I wouldn't make one share if the other had already finished their 'whatever'that's life - you finish yours you don't get to move on to somebody elses

morningsun Sun 19-Jul-09 17:00:04

I don't think it's fair to buy her an ice cream and force her to share it without her knowing before[I know you didn't],most people don't share ice creams anyway.
To get into the habit,you could buy something suitable for both of them,and tell her it is half each from the outset,then divide them up or she can count them out.

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