Wednesday, June 13, 2012

House Rules of Sharing

I grew up with 2 brothers and 3 sisters . . . sharing and fairness were kind of a big deal.  While the rules were constantly evolving (some of us being old enough to know better, some being to young to understand) there are two rules that I remember, and find myself saying/using to keep the peace with my own children today.

Rule #1: If You Don't Want To Share It - Don't Show It

This is one rule I regularly remind my kids of before we have friends over to play - if there is a special toy that they aren't ready to share, we hide it away until after the play date (which has saved us from many a meltdown or scuffle).

At times, I'm not quite sure that my kids understand this rule in regards to sharing (or not sharing) with each other . . . and then I come across something like this ("Exhibit A") below:
Even if you aren't familiar with field hockey, you probably knew that field hockey sticks are generally NOT stored in the fridge.  I got a good chuckle out of this when I recalled earlier events of the day where my son and daughter were fighting over this particular stick, and that one of them was smart enough to hide it in a place where the other wouldn't expect to find it. 

 Rule #2: One Splits - The Other Picks

When there is something my children both want that can be divided (usually a food item) - we live by this rule.  I can remember taking a good 10 minutes (OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a little) to cut a piece of cake in half that I had to share with one of my siblings.  I was determined to make sure the pieces were exactly even, because I wasn't the one who would get to pick.

What are are your "house rules" of sharing?


  1. Love these! I do the one cuts, the other picks sometimes, but I'm going to have to start using the first one too.

  2. My additional house rule is that if they are not willing to share a toy, the toy gets the time out.

  3. We have count to 10 and pass it on ( or 20 or 30 depending on their mood and how long they will actually get a good turn at what ever it is). If the other isn't interested in it then they will have moved away by 10 and no longer want it, if they wait then they really want it and we continue until 1 or the other has had enough.

  4. We have a timer from the Dollar Tree that is set for 10 minutes and when the timer goes off it is time to switch. The chilren will even ask for the timer when they are having difficulty. The childen usually have already switched before the timer goes off.

  5. With the toddler and his baby brother, I'm having to do what Tammy above mentions, which tell my toddler that if he can't share his toys with his brother, then Mommy gets all the toys and they will be put away. He shares well, usually, with other children, but not so much with the baby! I like your rules. I'm sure they'll come in handy as my 2 grow. Oh - and coming from a relatively big family, you might appreciate this: at a public play space, a little girl kept running around and blocking my toddler's access to various play items. Her mom came over and explained-She has 5 older siblings at home!

  6. I love both rules. The first would be great for play group!

  7. Reading rule 2 has made me smile, my brother and I can still cut any food item perfectly in half!


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