Sydney Mum finding motherhood is totes hectic
“Sharing is like swapping”, said Miss 4.5. “My turn then your turn then my turn again” (emphasis on the MY). They do get the idea of turns and sharing. They line up nicely at pre-school to take turns of a new game but when they are at home? You guessed it. Sharing and swapping is an bunch of words Mummy keeps yelling at them while they hit and push each other. I feel like a security guard at a local rugby league match.
But I know it’s all about repetition, demonstration and consistency… blah. In the worn-down-by-constant-bad-behaviour world let them thrash it out like a newly opened fighting pit in Dorne. They need to know fighting hurts and where their emotions take them. How nobody wins and everyone cries including Mummy. (or she just hides in the kitchen sipping wine)
Anyhoo, back to how to parent better when you are exhausted. You yell out “Share!” and they look back at you like the word is completely foreign. So I like to pull out the subtle teaching book and we settle down to read how bad not sharing can get.
‘Share said the Rooster’ by Pamela Allen
It all ends a bit badly when Billy & Ben can’t share a boat. They also didn’t have life jackets or had taken swimming lessons either. But in the world of the 2 & 4 year old it was more devastating that the Monkey ate the pink sticky bun while Billy & Ben fought. In our world it’s the Spoodle, a.k.a. advantage taking dog, who benefits from idle food while they fight.
A good moral sided story is a great place to see if the concept of sharing has sunk in. We had a sensible chat about what Billy & Ben could have done better. I got the right answers and let the idea sink into their subsconcious overnight.
Sometimes you need to circumvent the sharing and realise it’s not a sharing problem its an ownership problem. When I finally purchased a second set of white steps for the kitchen they were confused and starting bickering over who ‘owns the step’. After a few days of pointless fighting which to them was life & death; I handed over a set of permanent markets and said ‘Draw!”
As anyone knows once is never enough and the lessons and books will be repeated again and again until magically you over hear the four year old repeat my words to the astonished two year old about how to share.