I am curious as to when the term "share" became synonymous with the word "take." Each week this past year I sat in the lobby with my son while my daughter took an hour long gym class. Each week I heard parents tell their children or implore others "to share." Some used this term correctly, but most did not even come close.
Today I reached my breaking point with a certain mother who loudly tells other kids that they have to "share" each time her spoiled brat of a kid whines about wanting a toy another kid is playing with. Today it happened to be my son. He was sitting with a few pieces that connect to make a bridge. This kid came over and tried to take the pieces from my son. God bless him, he held his ground and looked over at me like, "Do I have to give these up?" His mother then says, "Well, we ALL have to share. Maybe that boy will share with you." For the record, I hate that passive-aggressive bullshit. Not to mention....THAT'S NOT SHARING!!! THAT'S TAKING. There is a huge difference. Might I recommend a dictionary in which to look it up. I wasn't going to say anything in response, other than telling my son, that "No, you're fine. Keep playing" but the woman just wouldn't stop with her yapping about "sharing" said repeatedly solely for my benefit. I finally just looked at her and said, "Encouraging your child to take my child's toys is not SHARING. It's TAKING. Don't misuse the first word to justify the selfish act of the second." The room fell silent.
I just don't think sharing should be used as a justification for taking what you want right when you want it. Don't misunderstand. I don't advocate selfishness. Kids need to learn to share certain things (within reason) and take turns, etc. My issue becomes when people (read parents) use the term "share" to essentially justify taking something they want or they want their kid to have. Don't try to categorize that under the heading of "sharing." Just be honest about what it is.
If my kid has five toys and is playing with one then his friends can play with the other four. That's sharing. Sharing doesn't mean that my kid has to give up the one toy he is currently playing with because some other kid wants it right at that moment. My kid clearly wants it too. Which is why he is playing with it in the first place. So, why do some people view sharing as one kid having to give that one toy up when another wants it? That is not sharing at all. To me, there is a difference.
I would never expect a parent to make their kid give up his/her toy simply because my kid wants it too. I'd have my kid(s) find something else to play with until that kid was done with it. I just don't understand the parents who won't tell their kids, "No, that other kid is playing with that toy now, you will have to wait and find something else to play with." There are too many parents who are teaching their kids that to "share" means to a) take what you want when you want it and if that kid doesn't give it up then he/she isn't "sharing" and b) you have to give up a toy you are playing with if another kid expresses the slightest bit of interest and if you don't then you aren't "sharing" either.
There is going to be a generation, even more so than there already is, that will just expect instant results, instant gratification, never having been exposed to the concept of delayed gratification because they were always given what they wanted when they wanted it with little regard for others.
When relaying this story to a friend today she said, "Well, my husband doesn't believe in sharing at all. He thinks once you claim a toy it is yours to play with until you are done. That may be five minutes or it might be all day." I'm interested in your thoughts on this. Where do you stand? What say you?