You have to share. Those words make me cringe just a little bit more every time I hear them or utter them myself. Although, I do have a problem with how kids are taught to share, I am not entirely against the concept. Sharing is a social skill that benefits all. Many awesome things, like Zipcar, run on the premise of taking turns. My problem is with how young children are taught to share.
Our intentions are good, however, I believe in establishing these generally accepted expectations for how kids should behave, we have done them a bit of a disservice. We are robbing them of autonomy, and failing to encourage true and meaningful kindness.
I propose a new set of rules that honor our children’s ability to figure things out on their own and respects their need to feel in control of their actions.