This Mum Doesn't Make Her Son Share His Things

‘Sharing is caring,’ a saying that most of us know and one that we continue to teach our children. But how true really is this saying?

Do we really believe that it is an important lesson to learn for a little one to share? Or in fact, is it ludicrous to expect a toddler to share everything in their possession? 

One mum's post on site Reddit has gone viral and has started quite the debate online. She states that she does not make her son share, and for very good reason. 

Her post starts with "My child is not required to share with yours" as she explains how her son was approached by six other boys when he arrived at the playground demanding he shares his transformer Minecraft figure and truck. 

She writes: “He was visibly overwhelmed and clutched them to his chest as the boys reached for them. 'You can tell him no Carson,' I said. 'Just say no. You don't have to say anything else.'”

She carries on to say as the other boys ran to tell on her son, she received a few dirty looks from the other parents. 

I have to say I agree with the mum in this scenario. The playground can be overwhelming for little ones, especially if they are shy. My youngest is almost two and very shy and introvert. She has a bunny that is her comfort toy and there is no scenario where I would encourage her to share it. 

As this poster very accurately points out, there is no aspect of adult life where you are obligated to share your personal objects with strangers or otherwise. 

Sharing is an essential part of learning and growing up and learning that not everyone has the same as you and if you have a little more it’s good to share. I get that. But I have to strongly agree with this mums chose to tell her son he didn’t have to share.

Boy playing on a swing
Should children be encouraged to share with others?

Even amidst the dirty looks from other parents, this mum stood her ground and stood by her decision.

She writes:

‘Here is the thing though: If I, an adult, walked into the park eating a sandwich, am I required to share my sandwich with strangers in the park? No! Would any well-mannered adult, a stranger, reach out to help themselves to my sandwich, and get huffy if I pulled it away? No again”

She continued:

“The goal is to teach our children how to function as adults. While I do know some adults who clearly never learned how to share as children, I know far more who don't know how to say no to people, or how to set boundaries, or how to practice self-care. Myself included”

As her post soon went viral, other parents did not hold back when giving their opinions.

One poster said “I teach my kids to share with their friends and siblings. Strangers? Who's to say that kid won't run off with it?”

Another agreed, “Sharing is a choice, not an obligation. The moment it becomes compulsory you strip away all the good emotions that come with it.”

Another posted:

“While it's true that sharing is not necessary, learning to recognize if someone whats to share something of yours and being able to part with it for a while to see the other person happy is a useful skill. Not a required skill, but if we are talking real world, networking and making friends get people through a lot of doors, not playing alone.”

Laura Doyle

Mum of four, Gentle parent living on coffee and trying always to stay positive and motivate in the midst of the madness.

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