One of the newest features added to Amazon's popular Kindle device is the ability to share books, called ebook lending. With this new feature, Kindle owners share ebooks with others for a span of 14 days. Borrowers don't require the Kindle reader because it's reading applications are available for computers and other mobile devices. If Kindle can do it, so can we. We have a choice. In the same way Kindle's publishers decide if their book is available to be loaned. We choose how much we want to share in our lives.
Remember the "mine" game people often play with children? A toy is grabbed and the grabber declares, "It's mine!" The child then responds, "No, it's mine!" From this point, a back and forth grabbing session begins. We laugh and consider it a joking experience, when in reality it becomes a training exercise. Our children follow our model, like it or not.
If our belongings become off limits for the use of others, kids take note. They begin hoarding their toys or games. How can we stop the vicious cycle of self-centered grabbing? It takes practice and verbalization.
The more often we can demonstrate a choice to share with our belongings, the more we make this attitude acceptable and understandable for our children. For example, we purchase a dessert we enjoy and rarely eat. Let the children know how important it is and then share it. Help them to know, without yelling, how often we share. We share our money, our resources, our toys, our clothes, our love, our food and much more. Parenting and sharing go hand-in-hand. Our children need to know.
Then, we help them to practice. We allow a few reserved items which aren't for sharing. They receive a special designated space, not too huge or the idea of sharing doesn't really matter. Next, set aside a few items designated for sharing only. With multiple children this comes up by necessity. Solitary children rarely need to practice this skill unless it is thrust upon them. Choosing to sort through items for the purpose of clearing out and donation gathing can assist as well. Kids are notorious for seeking to hold onto items long after their usefulness has waned. Enforced purging can enable them to develop the eyes to see the need of others. They should help deliver the items to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. By talking about the lifestyles of other people and what we can give to them, we help our children to see the value of sharing.
It won't come easy, but the more we encourage a sharing attitude without forcing it, the more we will see it or even hear about it from our friends. Often kids practice their best behavior in front of friends first.
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