On the surface sharing is an unambiguous concept. Splitting things equally, taking turns, giving something of ours to someone else when they have none. When we use the word with our children however sharing loses its wholesome halo and darkens. Consider its definition from the persective of a child or a parent.
The lad sees twin1 sitting quietly in her room playing with a small plane she dug from his toy box where it has lain neglected for about a month. He tries to peel her fingers from it whilst shrieking "she's not sharing with me". He emerges from the screamfest victorious and lavishes his fascination on the hitherto forgotten toy. Having asked her to share with him, he is now operating a 'possesssion is nine tenths of the law' policy in the face of her reaching fingers and tear stained face.
Last week I took my three to a friend's house so that we could gnaw to death a bit of gossip while our children had a play. Twin2 and the friend's youngest daughter had the same taste in toys which inevitably led to a tug of war accessorized by the kind of screaming which puts blood vessels in their eyes at risk. I leant over and said "darling can you share the doll with your friend?" What I really meant was "give her the doll, go and find something else to play with and forget the fucking doll. Don't cause friction here."
Aren't we teaching our children just the most wonderful lessons?
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