being a mom

Let’s Hear It For This Mom’s Post About Not Forcing Your Kids to Share

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(Facebook / Alanya Kolberg)

Navigating playground politics can be pretty complicated. I know that’s one of the things I hate most about taking my own son to the park. Will he play nice with other kids? Will a bully come around? Will he be the bully? Will he fall and get hurt? Will he accidentally cause someone else to get hurt? It can be a bit…much. That said, I do have a few ground rules for my son. One is don’t be mean to any of the other kids. The other is to stick up for himself. So when I read this mom’s post about not forcing your kids to share, I was definitely nodding and applauding.

Alanya Kolberg and her son Carson were recently visiting a park when a few kids came up to the young boy asking to play with the toys he’d brought. Little Carson was holding a transformer, a truck, and a Minecraft figure—all pretty great toys, so who wouldn’t want to play with them? Carson, however, wasn’t in the mood to share. No big deal. Kids are allowed not to want to share their stuff with strangers, just like adults, right? Kolberg quickly said this to her son:

“You can tell them no, Carson. Just say no. You don’t have to say anything else.”

The little boys who wanted Carson’s toys weren’t amused, though. They all quickly ran over to Kolberg to tell on Carson, as though he’d done something wrong. The Missouri-based mom used it as a teachable moment.

“He doesn’t have to share with you. He said no. If he wants to share, he will.”

Kolberg’s post shares all this info and thensome:

While I’m not thrilled at her use of the term “snowflake” (which is often used by alt-right Trump enthusiasts to try and poke fun at Trump’s critics), I certainly agree that kids shouldn’t be forced to share. How many of us were forced to share our toys or food or other things when we didn’t want to? How many of us were taught from an early age that it’s OK to say “no” and to stand up for ourselves and not buckle to pressure?

Rest assured the latter is a much larger issue in today’s society, and it’s important we start addressing it early, on and off the playground.