The Importance of Not Sharing

shareIt’s one of life’s most important lessons and it doesn’t come easy.

Sharing is a challenging concept for many adults to master, so imagine the toll it takes on preschoolers.

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?

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About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.