Sharing... WTF?

I just got back from the library. I like taking Phoenix & Ariana there so they can play with other kids. But, something one of the other moms did there left me beyond confused.

The topic? Sharing.

I believe that it's good to share. If you're playing with a group toy in a communal area? Expect other to join in and play too. It's good for everyone to share, and to learn to interact with other children. At home, Phoenix and Ariana each have their own toys, but pretty much all toys in our house are "sharing toys" - meaning that they're free game for anyone else to play with. I've also learned to trust my children to resolve toy disputes on their own. Generally, if somebody starts crying because they want a toy, the person who has the toy almost always gives the toy to the other person. This is not a rule in our house, but rather a side-affect of me focusing on developing altruism in my children. I feel altruism is one of the most important trait we can work on developing in our children.

So, anyways, back to the library. Ariana got down a box of dinosaurs to play with, and another little boy came over and picked up one of the dinosaurs. There were about 12 dinosaurs there, so there were certainly plenty to go around. Immediately, the mom came over, and told the boy he had to go find something else to play with. I told the mom that he was more than welcome to play too, but the mother still insisted he find another toy to play with by himself. It was so clear that he simply wanted to play dinosaurs with my daughter. Ariana didn't have a problem with it. The boy didn't have a problem with it. I didn't have a problem with it. But, yet, the mom did. She ultimately pulled the boy away, crying, so he could find another toy to play with.

Her actions left me beyond perplexed. Isn't part of the point in playing in a social setting like a library to interact with other children? Isn't it sort of pointless to go to go there if you simply want your child to play alone? And, what are you hoping to teach a child by doing this? That it's bad to make friends? To avoid interacting with other people whenever possible?



I'm seriously confused about this whole anti-sharing thing, and want to know what you think. What are the general sharing rules that you follow? Please leave a comment and let me know. As always, I read and respond to each and every question. 

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