Most preschool curriculums incorporate a slew of opportunities for four year olds to learn the fine art of sharing. They are taught to be generous with their possessions so their peers don’t feel left out. However, is sharing really caring? Does it really matter if kids share and share alike?
Some educators don’t think so.
In fact, a growing number of preschools are putting the kibosh on forced sharing in order to eliminate a sense of entitlement that seemingly has a chokehold on members of the Millennial Generation.
So, what are the benefits of instituting a no-sharing policy in preschool?
According to early childhood experts, having a child wait to play with a toy his classmate is having fun with teaches delayed gratification. Basically, the child learns that the world doesn’t revolve around him and his needs won’t automatically and immediately be met at every step in his life’s journey.
In some New York preschools, classrooms are filled with four or five of the same toy so that children don’t have to give it up to a classmate until they are completely done playing with it. Teachers there say forcing a child to share doesn’t foster better social skills; rather, it makes kids believe that they can have anything they want because others are mandated to share with them.
Opponents of no-sharing policies in preschools don’t agree that kids will grow up thinking they are owed everything they see. Pro-sharing educators say if a child is not encouraged to share with his classmates he will eventually become numb to other people’s feelings. This can lead to major problems as the child grows into an adult. However, experts maintain that by teaching empathetic sharing early in childhood you help kids develop into altruistic human beings.
Do you think sharing is overrated?