One mother’s Facebook post has sparked a conversation about sharing and whether or not kids should be made to share. In a Facebook post, Alanya Kolberg wrote about an incident her son had at a park. Kolberg says that as soon as they arrived at the park, kids approached her son, Carson, and asked him to share his toys. When he said he wouldn’t, the kids ran and told her that Carson wasn’t sharing.
Kolberg’s lengthy Facebook post explained why she doesn’t require her son to share:
MY CHILD IS NOT REQUIRED TO SHARE WITH YOURS.
As soon as we walked in the park, Carson was approached by at least 6 boys, all at once demanding that he share his transformer, Minecraft figure, and truck. He was visibly overwhelmed and clutched them to his chest as the boys reached for them. He looked at me.
“You can tell them no, Carson,” I said. “Just say no. You don’t have to say anything else.”
Of course, as soon as he said no, the boys ran to tattle to me that he was not sharing. I said, “He doesn’t have to share with you. He said no. If he wants to share, he will.”
That got me some dirty looks from other parents. 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.
So really, while you’re giving me dirty looks, presumably thinking my son and I are rude, whose manners are lacking here? The person reluctant to give his 3 toys away to 6 strangers, or the 6 strangers demanding to be given something that doesn’t belong to them, even when the owner is obviously uncomfortable?
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.
In any case, Carson only brought the toys to share with my friend’s little girl, who we were meeting at the park. He only didn’t want to share with the greedy boys because he was excited to surprise her with them.
The next time your snowflake runs to you, upset that another child isn’t sharing, please remember that we don’t live in a world where it’s conducive to give up everything you have to anyone just because they said so, and I’m not going to teach my kid that that’s the way it works
In looking at her Facebook page, it seems as though Carson does have two siblings, and I’m left to wonder if sharing is something that’s not required with siblings, or is it just not required with “greedy boys”?
Based on the comments on Kolberg’s Facebook page, some people agree with her, but, of course, there those who think she should teach her child to share.
“Comparing sharing a sandwich to sharing a toy doesn’t seem like a good comparison. Also, children are different from adults. Children are more social, less inhibited and more likely to interact with other kids they do not know. I don’t see the harm in sharing with other kids. I just don’t see what the big deal is. As far as teaching boundaries for ‘self care,’ I highly doubt that any child that shared their toys will grow up to have psychological issues because of it. Idk, this post just seems really dramatic and ridiculous,” one parent noted.
As a kid, I was never forced to share my stuff with other people. But in our neighborhood, everyone played with one another, and there were never any arguments about sharing. Of course, in our house, my brother and I occasionally argued over who could use the Hulk Hogan action figure in our own version of WrestleMania. Most of the time, I just ended up being the Ultimate Warrior.
Even with my own son, since he’s an only child, he was always eager to share and play with other kids—which kind of annoyed me—because as another parent stated, kids break things. But to this day, he’s not a selfish teenager and doesn’t mind helping others.
Kolberg is slated to be on Good Morning America on Wednesday to discuss her sharing philosophy or lack thereof.