Confession: My kids haven’t been taught to share


To avoid the risk of being pretentious, I’ve categorized this as a confession rather than advice.   Along the lines of my first confession, I’ve always taught my children to understand and value ownership.  I never demand that they share their things with others, even their cute, younger, innocent siblings. My 2-year-old has his own shelf on the bookcase for his collectibles along with his brother and sister.  He knows exactly which ones are his and which ones aren’t.  It’s wonderful watching him look longingly at his brother’s new Captain America figure while resisting the urge to touch or demand it. He certainly has the right to ask to play with it but his brother has the right to say no.

One would think that this has caused each child to hoard and lord over their things but the byproduct of this practice has shown quite the opposite for our family.  The children aren’t inclined to be selfish but free in their sharing.   After being on the receiving end of someone else’s graciousness, they’ve learned the benefit of sharing so that it comes willingly.  I often urge my children to be generous, but I don’t demand or require it.  Sharing is definitely a virtue and I’ve found success in allowing them to find joy in it so that it becomes an act of kindness and not compulsory.

For those in relationships, however, these practices don’t work.  Just roll with it.


TL;DR – My children have learned to share even though they have permission not to.

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