In case you thought parenting was easy, I’m here to remind you that it most definitely is not.
Just the other day I was driving home and thinking about what a good space we were in. Happy, healthy kids (which means that they were eating and sleeping well) and so Seth and I were happy too. But as it turns out, Murphy no longer requires that I actually utter the words aloud, saying them in my head is sufficient.
I got home to coughing, snotty nosed and miserable children. I’m still slightly bitter about how little we slept over that period.
Anyway, now that they are getting better all was good with the World again. That was until I had a discussion with a colleague that left my mouth hanging open a little.
He was complaining about how naughty his kids were and the things that they did. And, as I tend to do in these situations, I totally forgot all the equally naughty things my kids do all the time. Because they are not the same naughty things, I somehow thought for a moment that I am doing this parenting thing slightly better than my poor colleague – who is getting food spat in his face.
Again, let me reiterate – parenting is hard yo.
Because, just like us, our kids aren’t perfect. In fact, if they are anything like me (which, unfortunately for them, they are) then they are riddled with faults and things that need to be worked on.
So maybe they don’t have a problem with throwing their food around the dinner table, but they do struggle in other areas. One particular area that has come up again and again and again this week, is sharing.
Apparently the oldest and the youngest are incapable of sharing without mediation from me. It’s beyond ridiculous.
I can sort of understand Knox (who is not yet two) – he has grown up with all the things he wanted to play with being taken away by his sisters, only to be replaced with a mediocre substitute to placate him. He is old enough to know what he wants and he will let you know all about it until he gets it.
However, at 5 years old, following many, many conversations on and around the topic, I kind of expect more.
The immediate reaction to any sort of sharing scenario is met with tears, complaining till my ears bleed or mild violence.
It was getting to the point where it was borderline embarrassing when they fight over the smallest thing, no matter where we are.
So, we’ve worked at it this week by:
- Sharing with children who have nothing (via The Grace Factory). I thought that this would be a no brainer, but even finding one toy to giveaway was really hard for her. We had to really get into the reasons to share and why we should love each other in order to give of ourselves and our possessions to those who need it more.
- We encourage and praise the sharing of toys, clothing and food with all the family members, but especially with brothers or sisters.
So far so good, but I think constantly giving and becoming less “precious” about belonging is possibly the only long term solution to this? She doesn’t ever want to throw anything away and I think I would have failed as a parent if she ends up on an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive.
Any other tips on encouraging sharing?