'Let's share, sharing is caring'
'The more we share, the more we get'
As parents, we try to imbibe these thoughts in our tots right from an early age.
When a child refuses to share, knowingly or unknowingly, our society often labels him as a impolite child; blames his parents for not teaching him the right values and unfortunately at times the child's parents also think they have an unfriendly and unsocial child!
So why do some children throw a tantrum at the idea of sharing / parting with their used possessions.
Here's a real life incident: This one dates back to the time when my son Kian was 7 years old and had refused to part with few of his old rhyme and picture books which I had packed for his cousin Shaurya (half his age). Obviously Kian had outgrown them and the books were apt for Shaurya.
I always wanted Kian to be the ideal 'SHARING' child until I heard his reasoning for not parting with his books.
Kian in a very pensive tone, 'Mumma you want to know why I don't want to share my books with Shaurya?'
I kept looking at him as he left me speechless with his candid confession, 'I have memories attached with those books!'
Kian's answer made me ponder and introspect. Have we as adults, ever thought why our child is reluctant to part with their possessions and dispose off that broken toy or soiled teddy?
Here's my attempt in understanding the mindset of an UNSHARING child.
Emotional connect - walk down the memory lane.
Some children have this wonderful trait of weaving memories around their possessions and love to recall them from time to time. For them parting with their possessions means we are taking away their chance to connect with their memories which makes them upset.
Give them any old toy from the attic and they will amaze you with the minutest of facts
'Who had gifted them, on which occasion?'
'How they accidentally dropped soup on that particular toy at the restaurant!' (Don't be amazed if they state the restaurant's name too!)
A protective child - Fear of the unknown successor
Some kids are very careful of their belongings and handle them with utmost care and love. (That's one of the reasons why their belongings look as good as new and make them the perfect pass me down!)
They have a hidden fear, 'What if the new successor breaks it or manhandles it?' A possession they had nurtured and cared for so long is now going to someone unknown may create a havoc in their soft little heart!
But Mumma, you taught me to reuse and recycle!
Instead of trashing their broken toy in the bin, some kids would want to recycle and reuse it! Well, isn't that a wonderful thought?
Parent alert! They may need a little help from us to flesh out their thoughts and ideas. Don't seek for perfection. Just enjoy the process, the togetherness and the joy of creating something instead. And if you get stuck, there is 'google' at your rescue!
One Diwali, Kian refused to trash an empty 'chocolate box' even after all its contents were consumed. We created a ROBOT out of that 'waste' box which actually entertained him for days together!
After understanding my child's mindset, it has become easier for me to accept his UNSHARING attitude which bothered me earlier. Now I categorize him as a CARING and RESPONSIBLE child instead!
This article was contributed by Dhara Mehta for the parenting website Babychakra