When my elder son had turned two, we had him enrolled in a playschool and from that time onwards, they were taught concepts of sharing. Right from sharing toys to their snacks; they were taught everything.
And then as he entered nursery, the concepts were reinforced. And additionally, he assumed the role of an older brother. So, it was drilled into him that he should share his toys with his younger one.
But, he only shared his stuff when he was in the mood to. And we did not pressure him either. And he shares his stuff only when he is requested to do so and not forced.
I would like to explain this with an example.
He has about a dozen or so collection of cars of various sizes. So when I tell him to give a few of them to his younger brother, he refuses flatly. “These are all mine.” He says.
On the other hand, when I tell him, “Please, dear. See he is your younger brother. He is so small. Give him one or two cars to play with. Atleast for some time? Please will you share them with him?” After about 5 minutes, he willingly gives his cars to his brother and tells me, “See mamma, I’m sharing my toys!” And all of us are happy!
Similarly, even when we are out, say on a beach and he is playing with his sand toys, a few kids who do not have them come and try to take the bucket or the spade. So I simply tell them to not take the toys forcibly and instead just sit around for some time. And then, my son willingly shares those sand toys with the other kids. Again, everyone is happy and he has new friends to play with too!
One day, my mom had come over to play with the kids. And as I was searching for some ingredients to make her something, I came across a gulab jamun which was the only one remaining. Ideally, I should offer it to my mom, as she was the guest. But, there was only one gulab jamun remaining and it was too tempting to resist. As I was contemplating what to do, my mom came in the kitchen. And she saw it too. Both of us are mad behind sweets. As soon as she took it, I yelled, “No! That’s mine!”
For a moment, she was shocked as to what happened. But then she realised why I was shouting. And we both started arguing as to who should eat it. Hearing all the commotion in the kitchen, my elder son came in. And when he saw what we were fighting about, he did something exceptional.
He took the gulab jamun and broke it into two halves. He gave one to me and the other to his nani. He looked at me and told me, “Sharing is caring mamma! Remember?” And he went off to do his stuff.
Both of us were speechless at what he did. It was so heartwarming to see him do that. I was so proud of him!
I would like to sincerely thank his playgroup and nursery teachers for instilling this concept in him so well that he actually implemented it in a real life situation!
Pic courtesy: Google images
Author’s note: This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform.