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Is Sharing Always Necessary for Raising Compassionate Kids,Heather Shumaker’s It’s Okay Not to Share…

Book Reviews Thomas Thompson 236 views 0 comments

It is said that sharing is a fundamental aspect of human nature, something that has allowed us to thrive as a species and build communities. But in her book “It’s Okay Not to Share… and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids,” Heather Shumaker challenges this notion, arguing that it is not always necessary or even beneficial for children to share.

At first glance, this may seem like a counterintuitive or even selfish approach to parenting. After all, sharing is often seen as a way to teach children the value of compassion and generosity. But Shumaker argues that the pressure to constantly share can actually have negative consequences, such as undermining a child’s sense of autonomy and agency.

According to Shumaker, the emphasis on sharing can create a sense of entitlement in children, leading them to expect that they should always be able to have access to the things they want. This can lead to a lack of gratitude and a sense of entitlement that can carry over into adulthood.

But it’s not just about the negative consequences of sharing. Shumaker also argues that the constant pressure to share can actually inhibit a child’s social and emotional development. When children are constantly being told to share, they may become hesitant to assert their own needs and boundaries, leading to difficulty in forming and maintaining healthy relationships.

So what is the alternative? Shumaker suggests that instead of focusing on sharing, parents should focus on teaching children how to be considerate of others and how to be good neighbors. This means being mindful of the needs and feelings of those around them, and being willing to compromise and make accommodations when necessary.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean children should never share. In fact, Shumaker emphasizes that sharing can be a valuable experience for children when it is done on their own terms and when they are able to make their own decisions about when and with whom to share.

Ultimately, Shumaker’s message is one of balance. Sharing is not always necessary or even beneficial, and the constant pressure to share can have negative consequences. Instead of focusing on sharing, parents should teach children how to be considerate of others and how to be good neighbors, while also allowing children to make their own decisions about when and with whom to share. By striking this balance, parents can raise competent and compassionate kids who are able to navigate the complexities of social interactions and relationships.

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