When Alanya Kolberg went to her local park with her young son Carson, she noticed something rather peculiar.
Carson had three toys on him. Within minutes, six boys had approached, demanding he share his toys with him, notably disappointed when he was visibly overwhelmed and clutched the toys to his chest.
“You can tell them no, Carson,” she told him. “Just say no. You don’t have to say anything else.”
After receiving what she calls some ‘dirty looks’ from other parents, Alanya Kolberg wrote on Facebook to clarify one thing: No, her child doesn’t have to share with yours.
In a post that has since been liked more than 200,000 times and shared almost just as much, Kolberg covers one of the great taboos when it comes to parenting little children.
“If I, an adult, walked into the park eating a sandwich, am I required to share my sandwich with strangers in the park? No! Would any well-mannered adult, a stranger, reach out to help themselves to my sandwich, and get huffy if I pulled it away? No again,” she wrote.
“So really, while you’re giving me dirty looks, presumably thinking my son and I are rude, whose manners are lacking here? The person reluctant to give his 3 toys away to 6 strangers, or the 6 strangers demanding to be given something that doesn’t belong to them, even when the owner is obviously uncomfortable?”
Kolberg says that although she knows plenty of adults who were never taught to share as children, she knows far more who don’t know how to say no, nor set boundaries.
“In any case, Carson only brought the toys to share with my friend’s little girl, who we were meeting at the park. He only didn’t want to share with the greedy boys because he was excited to surprise her with them,” she clarifies.
However, most importantly, Kolberg says we should be teaching our children not to be entitled enough to expect others to always give us things.
“The next time your snowflake runs to you, upset that another child isn’t sharing, please remember that we don’t live in a world where it’s conducive to give up everything you have to anyone just because they said so, and I’m not going to teach my kid that that’s the way it works.”
Interested in some more unorthodox parenting advice? Have a listen to our parenting podcast.
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