One of the Most Difficult Lessons We Taught Our Only Child: Sharing

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In a prior post I wrote about what not to say to the parent of any only child. In this post, I’ll focus on one of the most difficult lessons we taught our only child. For parents of only children it’s something that requires a combination of some persistence, fortitude, and a healthy amount of patience.

That lesson is sharing. Sharing is defined in the dictionary as:

giving a portion of (something) to another or others.

My wife and I grew up with younger siblings so some of this sharing was taught via our exclusive in-house training program e.g. our (at times) bothersome brothers. Whether it was toys or, TV time we learned in a sometimes pig headed way to share many things. Some of the things we didn’t wish to share at all. But, our parents demanded a version of domestic bliss and that included sharing some things that we didn’t want to share. Why? We didn’t know, but, it was annoying and at times, downright frustrating. Completely normal (supposedly). And so we shared what we were ordered. In the process we learned something about manners and the order of our universe. I don’t remember a particular incident.. just a string of interruptions and near temper inducing arguments. Ultimately, this took me down the right path.

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Sharing didn’t come all that easily to our only child. Although early on we did have reason to hope. Before our only attended pre-school she was in a full-time daycare. We had arrived at the point that many parents do and that was about the pacifier. You know that thing they have in their mouth for much of the day. Well, it was time to give it up and she was not, willingly. But, we struck upon a plan to induce our child and we learned a lot about her at the time. After clearing it with the daycare we encouraged our child to give her pacifier to the babies in need. Appealing to her generosity and caring spirit she gave the pacifiers to the babies. It worked.

For a few years our fears of her not sharing were buoyed. But, soon enough it reared it’s head. I think around the time she entered pre-school we had some sharing incidents at some playdates. As it came up, we handled it and eventually she got the gist.

Has your only child had a tough time sharing? Share your story below.

Image via: Pixabay

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