This Mom Says Her Son ‘Doesn’t Have To Share’ And The Internet Is Torn

The ways in which parenting methods have been deemed 'correct' or 'incorrect' have changed a lot since we were children.

Whether you harbor traditional parenting beliefs or are more inclined to try modern methods of raising a family, everyone will have an opinion on how you choose to bring up your child.

As kids, we were all taught that 'sharing is caring'.

Unsplash | Jelleke Vanooteghem

Now, sharing is a hot topic in classrooms and parenting communities alike.

On one hand, it is important to teach kids to collaborate and be generous to others. Sharing can build skills like teamwork and empathy, which are important for children to learn.

On the other hand, it is also important to teach children that they are entitled to their own boundaries.

Unsplash | Ashton Bingham

Teaching children to say 'yes' to absolutely everything is going to get them into situations in which they forfeit their possessions and personal space for the sake of 'getting along' with others.

There needs to be a balance between being aware of others' feelings, but also giving validity to your own.

This mom shared her personal experience with teaching her son about sharing.

Unsplash | Sai De Silva

She explained on Reddit that she was recently at the park with her son Carson, who was approached by six other boys and asked by them to share his toys.

"He was visibly overwhelmed," she wrote, "and clutched them to his chest as the boys reached for them."

She told her son that he has the right to say 'no' to the boys, and that he doesn't have to say anything else.

Unsplash | Alaric Sim

"Of course, as soon as he said no, the boys ran to tattle to me that he was not sharing" she wrote. "I told them that he didn't have to share with them, that he said no, and that if he wants to share, he will."

"My child is not required to share with yours."

Unsplash | Ben Wicks

She automatically received some dirty looks from the parents of the other children.

However, her reasoning behind giving her son a choice in the matter actually made a lot of sense.

She made the point that as an adult, she shouldn't have to share her lunch with everyone in the park.

Unsplash | Robert Bye

"Would any well-mannered adult, a stranger, reach out to help themselves to my sandwich and get huffy if I pulled it away? No."

She then asked why her son should be expected to give his belongings away to strangers when he's obviously uncomfortable doing so.

"The goal is to teach our children how to function as adults."

Unsplash | Xavier Mouton Photographie

She brought up the fact that she knows a lot of adults who don't know how to say no to people, or how to set boundaries.

"We don't live in a world where it is conducive to give up everything you have to anyone just because they said so."

A lot of people agreed with her methods.

Reddit | r/choosersbeggars

Commenters even shared their own childhood stories in which they lost their toys to strangers who they were forced to share with.

The consensus seemed to be that sharing with those you trust makes sense, but having to share with total strangers isn't fair.

Though a few people saw the other end of the argument too.

Unsplash | Anna Samoylova

"While its 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," one person wrote.

"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."

Should kids have to share their toys?


I think that teaching children a balance of generosity and boundaries is key to helping them become adults who not only care for others, but also care for themselves.

It is true that sharing is caring, but it is also okay to say no.

Reddit | ellisg93

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