Why I Don’t Make My Son Share from Fat Brain Toys

SHARING

This is one of those blogs that will make you think about a simple lesson we teach all of our children, the idea of sharing. Beth from VeryBloggy.com, originally wrote this blog for PopSugar, and felt it was great for sharing with our readers.

REPUBLISHED FROM POPSUGAR.COM

There is a sharing policy at my son’s preschool. It’s a parent-run co-op, so we have to have policies like this so that we will all handle situations relatively the same way. The policy is that a child can keep a toy as long as they want to. If another child wants the toy, they have to wait until the first child is done with it. We’ll even “save” toys for the child if they have to go to the bathroom, go to the snack table, etc. so that it won’t get taken before they’re done. This applies to anything in the yard or school that can be played with, including swings and monkey bars.

At first, it didn’t really occur to me to wonder why this was the policy. I just went with it, because that’s the rule, and it didn’t seem like a big deal to me. The kids all know the rule, so outside of maybe their first two weeks at the school, they don’t throw a giant fit when you tell them, “You can have it when Sally Jo is done.” But lately I’ve been noticing a totally different attitude toward sharing in other places we go, and I’m starting to really know exactly why this is the school’s policy.

Two Questionable Sharing Practices

Here are a couple of examples of questionable sharing practices that I’ve seen recently. The first comes from a good friend of mine. (And I hope she doesn’t mind that I use her story as an example.) She and her almost-2-year-old were at the park one day. He had brought a small car from home to play with. Another child, a little bit older, wanted to play with the car and was demanding that my friend’s son give him the car. A typical toddler scuffle ensued, and the other mother told her son, “I guess his mom didn’t teach him how to share.” Never mind the fact that the car belongs to him and that when someone asks you to share, “No” is a perfectly legitimate response.

My second story happened one morning at the local rec center. Friday mornings they fill the gym with tons of Little Tykes climbing structures and those plastic cars they can drive around, tricycles, big balls, even a bouncy castle. Basically a toddler’s dream play room. There’s this one red car in particular my son really likes playing with, and the last time we went, he drove it around the entire hour and a half we were there. While most of the moms with smaller kids will shadow their kids as they play, my son is old enough now that I can sit on the sidelines and watch. From there I watched a mom whose son wanted to drive the car approach my son repeatedly, saying, “OK, now it’s time for you to give him a turn!” Of course he ignored her, and eventually she gave up. There were a million other little cars for her son to drive, including one that was almost identical. Or maybe I would have stepped in at some point.

Real-World Lessons

I don’t agree with the approach of the mothers in either of these situations. I think it does a child a great disservice to teach him that he can have something that someone else has, simply because he wants it. And I can understand the desire to give your children everything they want; we all have it. But it’s a good lesson for you both to learn that this isn’t always possible, and you shouldn’t step all over other people to get these things.

Furthermore, this is not how things work in the real world. In your child’s adult life, he’s going to think he’s owed everything he sees. This is already happening in the next generation. I read a fascinating article about how today’s teens and 20-somethings are expecting raises and promotions at their jobs for reasons like, “I show up every day.”

If you doubt my reasoning, think about your own day-to-day adult life. You wouldn’t cut in front of someone in the grocery checkout line just because you didn’t feel like waiting. And most grown adults wouldn’t take something from someone, like a phone or a pair of sunglasses, just because they wanted to use it. (Well, maybe some of you would. In which case, this post may not be for you.)

It’s hard, as with so many things about parenthood, but let’s teach our kids how to cope with disappointment, because it happens. And we won’t always be there to fix it for them. Let’s teach them how they can get things they want through diligence, patience, and hard work.

How do you feel about the concept of sharing where young children are concerned? I know you likely don’t have a “policy,” as I sure didn’t before the preschool told me they had one. Now I notice a variety of different takes on the subject from the parents I see around. Makes me wonder if we need to be talking about this issue a little bit more.

Contributed by
Fat Brain Toys

Fat Brain Toys is a leading retailer and developer of specialty toys & games.

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“Learning to read is developmental and begins when a newborn looks at you and hears you talking to them.” The foundation for reading begins at birth.

blog

Learning to read is not a crash course that kids take and are done with once they can read Dick and Jane without any help. Learning to read is developmental and starts when a newborn looks at you and hears you talking to them. Below are 50 pieces to the reading puzzle. 50 ways that you and your child can have fun knowing that they are working on early literacy development and learning to love books. This is not definitive checklist. It’s a buffet of options to help support your child as they develop literacy skills and become independent readers. Find ideas that work for your family with your child and their current development.
CLick here to read more:http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2013/04/50-ways-to-teach-your-child-to-read.html

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Summer Fun with the Brain in Mind by Lori Desautels

summer fun

Summer months are typically designated as times for less structure, more pleasure, enjoying the outdoors, and free time. Sometimes, however, our brains feel discombobulated without the structure or schedules that guide us through the other ten months of the year. But whether we’re in school, at home, the pool, the playground, or on vacation, we’re always using our brains. The brain-compatible activities below are intended for parents to implement with children or adolescents to activate the joy of learning, decision-making, questioning, and playing with ideas during summer break and beyond.

These activities and strategies include storytelling, novelty, and questioning — strategies reflecting the natural ways that the brain learns, makes meaning from real-life experiences, and engages the prefrontal cortex in times of negative emotion or conflict. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that processes emotion and thought, and when activated, can lessen the fight-flight-freeze response.

1. The Story Lady or Story Man
There is nothing more exciting than dressing up, donning an accent, and bringing a bag of books or homemade stories while ringing your own front doorbell. When my three children were little (and not always so young, as we kept this tradition for years), I dressed up as Mrs. Kit Kat, a funny little lady with an interesting foreign accent. She surprised my children with stories and facts — about them! They could not believe how much I knew about their lives and interests. We shared much laughter, asked questions, and kept the mystery alive a couple of times a week with her witty, unexpected visits.

2. Meal-Time Scavenger Hunt
Our children have favorite movies, colors, habits, interests, books, etc. One evening a week, with each dinner course served, fold up and tuck away a clue on a post-it relating or hinting to the topic you chose about your child. This is very motivating and engaging because, as humans are pattern and novelty seekers, our brains love figuring out information based on clues or parts of a subject. We still do this today with our teenagers, and they love to guess while we are eating and laughing over some of the clues given. Regan’s topic was her favorite author, Sarah’s was her beloved stuffed animal “Carrots,” and Andrew was always given clues about his favorite sports teams.

3. Letter of Advice for Parents
Conflicts over curfews, friends, boundaries, and activities (among other subjects) always appear and sometimes magnify in the heat of summer. If a disagreement or conflict looms between parents and adolescents, and neither seems able to find a solution, go to your teen! There’s nothing more satisfying than being sought after for advice. Directly and indirectly, you enlist the help of your adolescent’s higher-level thought processes when you ask, “What can I do to resolve this?” or “Help me find a better plan that we all agree upon.” He or she begins to feel valued and appreciated, moving from the brain’s fight response into a “responder” response. If a conflict occurs, maybe parents and children can agree to write a story sharing each perspective, and then compare, ask questions, and talk after the heat of the moment has fled.

4. It’s All About Me Day
Nothing is more critical to our well-being than feeling valued, capable, loved, felt, and heard. As a family, designate a day for one another, choosing and planning your child’s or adolescent’s favorite things! This is great modeling for children, as they too can show their appreciation for all you do and are. It doesn’t have to cost money. The summer is full of opportunities to plan a meal or a field trip to a favorite location, to write a poem or story, or even post signs in the yard or neighborhood about the genius of this designated family member. Creating a picture folder, inviting a surprise visitor, or planning an outing that serves another is always an uplifting experience.

5. Upside Down and Backwards Day
We all become stuck in our ruts, structure, and lifestyles. They feel comfortable but not always enjoyable. On this day, everything changes: meals, locations, timing, and setting. Have a snow cone and vitamin for breakfast. Pack up your lunch and take it to a secluded or unusual area. Pull up or decorate different chairs for dinner, create invitations, design a sundae bar, dress up, decorate the dining room or kitchen, and eat late. Wear your clothes backwards. Make up your own language and talk this way all day long — even in public. (Maybe begin every word with an S and end it with a T or P?) See what happens!

6. Creation Day
This activity is my favorite because, as parents or educators, it’s a great way to warm up the brain for thinking outside the box. When our children awaken or there’s a break in the day, bring out large paper bags with each child’s name printed on the outside. Inside, they’ll find random objects from junk drawers or closets at home, or nature objects from outdoors. Maybe a couple of bags are filled with some rocks, tree limbs, leaves, twigs, and flower petals. In a specific and agreed-upon amount of time, each person begins constructing his or her creation. Music can be playing, but talking is kept to a minimum during this creative time. The projects could be set aside and shared later that evening. Children might choose to write a story or poem about their construction, or they can just verbally share.

This article can be found at http://www.edutopia.org/blog/summer-fun-brain-in-mind-lori-desautels

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