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Is Sharing Caring?

Nyajuok Lam, Contributing Writer

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The ability to teach your kids skills to protect themselves in the future is essential as a parent. We as a society have prided ourselves in being good parents. We have also prided ourselves in being able to teach our kids the way we believe best fits them as individuals. Alanya Kolberg is a mother that has gone public about refusing to teach her child about sharing. Kolberg is trying to teach her son what she believes is best for her child and her family, yet she is hated for it. And I stand with her teachings.

I  believe that I should not have to give what is mine to others unless I wish to. We have been taught that we have freedom to do what we please; that does not stop in the playground. Alanya’s son, Carson, has the right to say no if he does not want to share with the other kids. I think the saying “sharing is caring” has been used so much that people tend to not understand when others do not act accordingly. Simply because Carson may say no to sharing does not mean that he is not a nice person; It makes him the opposite. As adults, we try to figure out what needs to be done in each situation and act accordingly. Carson is simply doing that as a young boy. This is a big step; it means he knows when to say yes and when to say no. These are what will make Carson understand who he is as a person, allowing him to set boundaries so that he does not get used in the future.

Being used is not fun or beneficial. For example, I remember a situation in 4th grade where I was taken advantage of because I could not say no. At the time, I could not speak English, so saying no was a little hard. I could not understand what was being asked of me, but I wanted others to like me, especially since I already felt like an outsider. I would always bring cookies with me to school because I got hungry quickly. When other kids realized this, they would not stop asking for me to share. I said “Yes” each time because I wanted to be liked, and I sometimes did not understand what they were asking for (there are many clever ways of asking for something you want). I would come home and tell my aunt about it. One day, she said to me “When these kids ask for your cookies, do you want to share?” I, of course, replied with a no, to which she replied “Then why do you give something you do not want to share?” I thought hard about what she said. I concluded that I would not share my cookies anymore. Sharing with the other kids did not benefit me because they did not care about me, they cared about the cookies. The next day, I said “no”. I was bullied for the rest of the year at recess.

In my case, “sharing is caring” did not benefit me. The other kids did not care if I got a chance to eat the cookies, even though I brought for myself. They just wanted some for themselves. When I stopped giving the other kids what they wanted, they became mad about something that was never theirs to begin with. That day, I became very independent and made the decision to only share when I wanted to. I only share depending on how it makes me feel, who it would be helping, and if I want to.

As for the parents that believe what Kolberg is teaching is wrong, I think that you are wrong. All parents want their kids to be well-rounded individuals. Kolberg is just taking a different approach. As a society, I think we need to teach our children that just because you ask for something does not mean you will receive what you desire. The kids that Carson would not share his action figures with asked Carson to share as if they were entitled to play with the action figures. They are not. Carson and his mother simply said no because they wanted what was theirs. That is not something to hate about. Part of being a grown up is to understand others’ point of views. I think it is important to understand where Kolberg is coming from. You do not have to agree, but you must respect her parenting choices.

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Is Sharing Caring?