My son got a fabulous new bike for Christmas. It was a group effort, paid for by us and both sets of grandparents. He waited all winter, and I meal all winter, (wow, was that a long one) to get outside on his new bike and cruise around. In fact on a few "warmer" days during the winter - you know, 38 degrees . . . he would attempt to ride his bike up and down the street, while bundled up. Those rides didn't last long.
Finally, the weather warmed up.
We have a fairly active street - lots of kids. Most have bikes. Some have nicer bikes than others.
And my son's bike is definitely one of those. I mean, it's brand new. It's orange and shiny and turns heads.
On several occasions, Zane has a been asked by other kids if they can try out his bike. Zane, being a pretty kind little guy, has agreed. Until he made a few observations: a few kids don't wear helmets, and there are some who like to do "stunts" on their own bikes. This had him pause.
"Mom, I want to share, but I don't like someone being on my bike who doesn't wear a helmet."
"Well, can they borrow your helmet?"
"Mine doesn't fit them. And, it's not just that. They do tricks on their bikes and want to try them on mine. And I don't want my bike to get damaged."
And that's when I realized, that he shouldn't have to share, if he doesn't want to do so.
We raise our kids to be polite, giving, and thoughtful, but we also need to teach them to have good judgement, be responsible with their personal belongings, and have the confidence to stand up and defend their choices.
In this case, he was both concerned about the safety of the other kid, and hesitant due to the possible damage their actions could do to his bike. Which, was an expensive investment.
I backed him up.
His choice was not a popular one.
Do we equate sharing with being courteous/friendly, and not sharing with being selfish?
When is it appropriate for a child to choose NOT to share?
Joline Pinto Atkins, an actress who also uses the web as her world-wide stage, can also be found writing at The Cuppa Jo, Beaver County Times online as the Health and Wellness blogger, and is the founder of Daily Fast Fuel. She is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 13 and 9, who are both named after authors. Passionate about fitness, she is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and sweats out any daily angst by exercising at home, longs for good books, is a redeemed coffee addict, and won't share popcorn with anyone. Even her own family. Follow Joline on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!