Liars!

Veronica - posted on 05/06/2011 ( 21 moms have responded )

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How do you really teach your children how to share and be unselfish - I think this is such a contradictory subject. For instance - there are times when I buy candy for just myself to indulge in - when my children ask for some, I tell them no, this is mom's (most times i eat it when they are in bed or gone), but I feel that I should be able to put my own foot down and make a decision of whether I want to share or not.
However, when it comes to their toys or belongings, i always encourage them to share - but also find myself telling them that if their sister or brother said 'no' you cannot play with their whatever it is, that they should respect that.

Im not sure if im making sense, but I feel like everything is mixed messages now -- I think we should be unselfish, giving, and shareful - but on the other hand, learn to also respect when someone says no - they dont want to share.

Where do you draw the line??

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Jodi - posted on 05/06/2011

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See, if I have something to eat that they can't have, I wait until they are not around. I fully expect that if it comes out while they are here, I am going to have to share.

On the toy example, that's fine. As long as NO-ONE is allowed to play with it. If your child can play with it and just not share, then that is not okay, but if it is put away and something else is played with then that's fine. Either of those options is teaching sharing. You either share, or you don't get to play with it either. It isn't a contradiction.

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Julia - posted on 02/16/2013

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Also we have a no food sharing rule in our home. Everyone deserves their own food plate or snack. This dates back to the year that strept throat went through everyone in the house. If someone ate off something it is theirs. Now usually if someone gets a bug it stays contained to one person and everyone learns that there are things you don't share because it spreads germs. Picking a fry off mommy's plate is one thing but when they are teens I don't want them thinking it is OK to eat off all their friends plates. I've seen children offer each other licks off Popsicles. Ick. My kids have learned food sharing is not OK so I don't worry about them eating off Johnny drippy noses plate during cold and flu season.

Julia - posted on 02/16/2013

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You don't have to share all the time. When my son has a play date I ask him to take any toys that he isn't ready to share and put them in his closet. Then I let him know the rest of the toys must be shared during the play date. With siblings you could have them keep special toys in their own room or if they share a room designate some other place for each like under their respective beds. There is a great episode of Olivia (the pig) where she day dreams her parents have the same sharing rules as kids, basically share everything you own and hold dear at all times. Neighbors are coming over trying to take the parents car and reprimanding them for not being good sharers. It is very funny and gives some good perspective. Everyone deserves to have some special things that are just theirs. You just have to outline the rules for sharing ahead of time ie you don't have to share that with your brother but then you need to play with it in your own room or whatever your rule is. Than be consistent.

Constance - posted on 05/08/2011

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@Jessica, I have always sat down with them while they are playing. I specifically ask to play with the toy they are showing the interest in. When they would say ok. I would always replie with "Thank you for being such a big boy fro sharing." I would play with it for at 10 minutes and thank him again and give it back to him. then when I have food or something that they wanted I will say mommy can share with you too. When he has a friend over continue with the same type of wording. But instigate the sharing between friends. Tell him you are such a big boy. How about you share your truck with Max. When he hands it to them. Praise him again and then again when they switch. He will find it a positive not being in trouble because he didn't share. If it is a toy that he absolutly can't part with then just put it up when it is time for sharing.

Jessica - posted on 05/07/2011

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I'm like Heather I am super snacky too (especially since I'm breastfeeding- makes me hungry!) but whatever I pick to eat i have to keep in mind I'm going to be sharing it with Kieran because if I have something, he'll want it! Often he'll just have a couple bites and then decide he's not interested. But I dn't feel like I can eat it all to myself and not share it with him. He has however started reaching into my bowl or whatever and grabbing my food and I do discourage that, I encourage him to ask.

It is a good question though. I am currently trying to figure out how to teach my almost 23 month old, non-verbal toddler to share, period. But i think its fare to be able to say no sometimes too... I have no idea how or where to draw that line though.

Katherine - posted on 05/07/2011

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I always teach my kids to share point blank. Like Jodi said, if I have something they can't have I just don't eat it in front of them.

Constance - posted on 05/07/2011

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I wouldn't nessarally would be confusing. Yes we have to teach our children to share and not be selfish. But in the same breath they have to learn that they can't have everything either and that they don't always have to share or be unselfish. My kids know that they have to share toys, game systems..... but sometimes they have a right to say no. I do get things for myself that I don't share with them. When I have a snack or something like that I normally will wait for them to be somewhere else. If I do eat it when they are around and I say no. I always remind them of something they had eatin that day and that I didn't ask for a bite. So I am going to enjoy my snack. Most of the time I will only get one bite of something because my kids and their friends always end up eating the rest.
They have to learn both sides because it does teach them that it is ok to say no but you also have to give in order to receive.

Lady Heather - posted on 05/07/2011

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My problem right is that I'm super snacky. I don't eat the "bad" stuff when Freja is around, but I have bowls of cereal and bread and stuff a lot. And she has this insatiable appetite so she always wants to share my snacks. It's simply not possible to not eat in front of her. And if I give her one bite she just wants more and more and more. She still shares her toys very nicely so hopefully I'm not teaching her any bad habits. She definitely has a few toys she doesn't want others to have. You have to pity the kid who steals her Fox in Socks. So I just put him away when others are around. I think every kid is entitled to have a couple of things that are just for them. I still have my just-for-me stuffies.

Isobel - posted on 05/07/2011

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as it turns out I AM a liar...because yeah...if they don't want to share a toy, it gets put away until the guest is gone.

I don't let them be rude to guests.

Elfrieda - posted on 05/07/2011

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I think it's okay to have a few special toys that are only for the child and not any brothers or sisters, but if they are that special, they should be put away when guests come over to keep them safe.



I was brought up that it's rude to eat in front of somebody without offering a bite or part of what you're eating, so I don't say "It's mine, you can't have it." to my son. I give him a piece and say, "This is mama's chocolate, but you can have this piece." (but no more, because he also needs to learn boundaries - also, too much chocolate isn't good for him) I do get offended if someone whips out a bag of chips or an apple and doesn't even offer a bite. (usually I say no, but it's the gesture that counts)



If the kids are really little and are just learning about sharing (like mine) I tend to say, "No, if you want to play with Thomas's toy, you need to find something else that he wants to play with instead, and then you can trade with him if he wants to." At this age, it tends to be really easy to distract them and trade toys without much fuss.

Christina - posted on 05/07/2011

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We have five kids. Our two daughters are 15mnths 1 day apart in age, and two of our sons are 14 1/2 months apart in age. Due to this, they are forced to share a lot, toys, certain clothing, ect. (They fit into the same sizes! So I buy a full wardrobe for them, then a few extra outfits.) What we do in our home is have certain things that NO ONE has to share. Every child has certain toys that they don't have to share with anyone, even their friends. They also have certain outfits they don't have to share with each other. It makes sharing not so bad. My husband and I have plenty of things we don't share with the kids, but we find a substitute. I have no problems buying myself Starbucks and not getting anything for my kids. However, we will treat them to some occasionally.

Isobel - posted on 05/07/2011

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I don't force my kids to share...I teach them that's it feels good when you do :)

Bonnie - posted on 05/07/2011

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If I don't share chips or chocolate with my boys, I will likely hear about it for the rest of the day. Plus if they see me eating the stuff, it is only right to share, otherwise it isn't teaching them anything.

Jenn - posted on 05/07/2011

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I don't eat candy or chips in front of the kids without sharing - I think that's rude. As for toys, let's say my son is playing with something and he doesn't want his sisters to play with it, or share, I'll tell him to take it to his bedroom then and play with it there. If it were a friend that was over and he didn't want to share a toy, I'd tell him to either share or find something else to do together.

Jodi - posted on 05/07/2011

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I did respond originally based on the other kids coming to play, not siblings. My kids have big age differences, so I don't really face the issue. Believe me, my teenage boys aren't interested in my 6 year old's Barbies. And my teenage boys are a bit beyond toys really. When they WERE into toys, they were a bit old for my daughter to play with. And because my stepson isn't here all the time, the two boys have never really had any issues with sharing - they are fantastic mates and never fight. Makes me feel lucky really. Fights around here are not over toys....other things yes, but never toys.

Ez - posted on 05/07/2011

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I agree with Jodi. If another child is at our house and my daughter decides she doesn't want them to touch a particular toy, it goes away. I just explain to the other child that it is Milla's special toy, and to Milla that if she doesn't want the other kid playing with it then she will have to wait until they are gone.

I have taken my daughter places where the other child is fixated on a specific toy and won't share under any circumstances. It drives me mental if that is allowed to continue. It's fair game if it's out in our house. If I know my daughter is especially fond of a certain toy and forsee it being an issue, I put it away before anyone gets here.

I do think it's different with siblings though. In that case, you can't use the 'it's special and you can play with it when Little Johnny goes home' line.

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Just to throw this in.I can't stand others who invite us over.I have a 2year old and six year old.Its mainly the baby i will talk about.We go to a friend's house were they have all there kids toys out.They expect my 2year old to not touch them.I mean if you care so much about them, put them up.If i invite friends over who have kids.Whats my childrens toys, is there kids toys while in my home.If the play nicely and are not wanting or trying to break them.I happy to let the children play.I make sure my daughters play with others toys respectfully.If theres a toy my daughter would not like to share i ask her to put it away.I would not eat chocolate if they could not have any.I am big on sharing.:-)

Veronica - posted on 05/06/2011

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Which - i think is what my post is more centered around - just couldnt think of what i was exactly trying to make a point of -- the difference between selfish and respect. Nice or respect. Rights and respect vs. being nice and unselfish to others, etc.

Veronica - posted on 05/06/2011

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I dont agree that if the child decides at the moment that they dont want to share, that they shouldnt get to play with the toy. How does this give validness to the child who made the decision to say no? They should be able to say no, but with parental guidence, be taught that perhaps they can share the toy later. (my kids do this all the time, they feel better when they can choose to share a toy or not, and when -- my daughter is 8, and her brother is 7 - they ask each other if they can play with a certain toy - if the other says no - they are to find something else to do -- then i notice later that the one who said no - will then say, ok, you can play with this now. I think this is a positive thing as they can feel valid and respected for their decision)

This is where i feel a line can be drawn between selfishness and respect.....

Stifler's - posted on 05/06/2011

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If I eat chocolate it's when Logan isn't around or I bite off a tiny piece and give some to him hahaa. I share everything with him I guess, he likes hot chips and drinking out of my milkshake if we go out for lunch. If I don't want to I wait until his nap time or he's in bed. He's pretty passive when it comes to sharing, if someone steals his toy he's holding he runs away and finds something else. So I don't have the problem of him not wanting to share toys yet he's only 15 months. I agree with Jodi, if they don't want to share it should be put away so no one can play with it.

Veronica - posted on 05/06/2011

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Another add-on example: kids come over to play, my kids decide no, they dont want them to play with a specific toy - then i tell them to find something else to play with --- or other times i will tell my child to share the toy.
This is where the mixed messages are coming in.

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