“Share that toy!” We moms have all said it. Begged. Pleaded. Ordered, “SHARE!”
We want our children to grow up and be generous. To express empathy. To be gracious. Right?
But, is forcing a child to share going about it in the right way?
Hubby Jerry works as a restaurant manager and has many college students who work for him Most of them are asking questions and searching for answers. It seems that many of the youth today look to socialism as the answer.
Jerry got into a discussion with a few of these would-be-socialists and what it meant. They were all for it until the end of the day when they were counting tips, he asked the one who had more than anyone to share with everyone else.
“I earned these! I’m not sharing!”
You see, it all sounds well and good in theory. Everyone works. Everyone shares. There is a huge flaw in the system- it is run by human beings. Some humans are hard workers. Some are lazy. Others are selfish and power hungry.
He becomes poor who works with a slack and idle hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.-Proverbs 10:4
From the fruit of his words a man shall be satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hands shall come back to him [as a harvest].- Proverbs 12:14
The work of a man’s hands comes back to him. This is an important lesson for children to learn.
Our young new Guires owning nothing, living at the breast of the orphanage had communism in their blood. Kids in the orphanage shared communal closets. The favorite clothes were available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Toys belonged to whoever got them before the others and hid them the best or the longest when not in use.
As Slavenka Draulic says in her memoir, “It’s more than a political ideology or method of government, it’s a state of mind.”
The state of mind is difficult to change. So why do we teach our children to be communists? “You have to share that!’ “don’t keep it to yourself. True sharing only comes from a heart that is willing.,not from force. Making children share everything only creates havoc.
Three results of communism:
1. Communism is the home sets a precedent for children’s perception later in life.
Children who are made to share with everyone will expect everyone to share with them. They will be expected to be catered to, waited on and for things to come easy.
2. Children who do not own their own things do not understand the value of ownership.
I have visited homes where none of the children own anything. Everything is a mish- mosh-mess, stepped on, crowded into rooms and strewn on the floor. Why? No one owns the things. Anyone can play with anything at anytime. Things are broken, misused and fought over. This teaches children not to value property. There is nothing wrong with having a cabinet of co-toys taken out at the direction of the parent or caregiver and then cleaned up together. It is also a great idea to have some toys that only come out at special occasions- games, puzzles, paints. It is extremely important that children own their own things and have a say over who can play with them.
Imagine if I went out and bought a new dress and hung it in my closet for a special occasion and my neighbor raided my closet and took the dress because she ‘wants to wear it first’ or ‘you’re not using it right now’ or ‘I found it in your closet’?
Can you imagine? I can, These are the words of children raised with communal closets, it’s a survival of the fittest mentality. If I get there first,-I get it! If you set it down- it’s mine.
3. Communism does not teach fairness. It teaches unjustness.
Years ago, one of my sons raised funds to buy a video player complete with Jimmy Neutron disks. It was his. He worked hard at odd jobs around the home for it and used birthday money. One of his brothers in the name of ‘fairness’ took it apart. That, my friends is communism at it’s finest. If I can’t have it, neither can you.
When a child has worked hard to earn money for a toy and he is commanded to share with the child who decided not to do the odd jobs around the house to earn extra money, that is unjust, not fair. The whole idea behind communism is that everyone gets an equal share and puts forth equal effort. Problem is not everyone puts forth equal effort. Those who put fort more effort should be permitted to keep the goods and monies they earn to themselves.
So, next time you are using your computer, driving your car, swimming in your pool,… if you are going to ask your child to share at their toys on demand, then you must be willing to share your toys on demand. If you not, quit demanding your child share. Let him have ownership and freedom to share when he pleases.
*Note- my kids have my permission to hide away toys they don’t want company to play with. Our children have to ask permission to play with a toy and the lender is welcome to say no. These practices teach etiquette, manners, self-restraint, respect of personal property and generosity.