Sitting with Hamish after his first week of school, we were going over the class photos and I was asking him questions to learn more about his first week’s experience at his new preschool.
Laughingly he couldn’t remember the kids names, aside from the 3 or 4 he obviously connected with and he spoke me through the activities they had done with his new teacher.
I was impressed at the gentleness that he described his teachers and the new songs and games he had learnt.
The we spoke about the kids and what being a good friend was. Very aware that some kids can be more dominating in a class I asked who played nicely.
When in conversation I try to not give him the words but to let him express himself fully in his words and experience and so the general question of who plays nicely allows him to relate his experience within his peer group.
He rattled off about the kids who play with him, pointing them out to me.
He spoke about the cars and the animals and the little girl who shared the frogs.
He said but mommy there some children who aren’t sharers.
I asked what he meant.
He explained that some of the children did not share the toys and said things like “I don’t want to play with you.”
My heart fell to my feet and I looked at him honestly and said are they meanies?
Meanies is our word for children who hurt others, use their words to intentionally upset someone or break things.
We use this word instead of bully, as Bully is a strong word to use for preschoolers who may not yet have learnt the social cues to play with others.
He thought for a moment and honestly answered…
” No they not meanies, they just not sharers!”
And so we carried on talking about why sharing with our friends is important. How sharing is how we show kindness and love and lastly what to do if someone doesn’t want to share with you.
I feel strongly that giving him the opportunity to express himself, the ability to convey how he feels and the coping skills to overcome the effects and interactions with children who may not behave as he does is important for him to be able to integrate into his class, now and in future schools and to not be affected by bullies later on in his school career.
Raising kids who share
For me it has always been so important that my children be the ‘Kind Child’
That they are inclusive, gentle and share with their peers.
But how do you raise a child who will share?
You can read many books, you can pick more gentleness parenting styles and you can introduce as many games as you like but the first and most important way to raise a child who is inclusive and who shares is to model that behaviour in your daily life.
You are your child’s first teacher and the most important influence on their personality and character.
If you use gentle words, share with those around you and are non discriminate and inclusive, it is probable that your child will be too.
In short ….to raise a child who shares, you need to be an adult who shares.