Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I Won't Make My Kids Share

I always have preached to my kids "to share" their toys with their siblings, friends, acquaintances, etc.......well screw that! Not anymore!

Jayce's thoughts on not making his brothers share with him!

Last weekend we attended a training for foster and adoptive parents in our state. I'll be honest I typically dread the actual training classes, because it's usually not information that I can use daily. But we have to have a certain number of training hours a year to keep our foster license, so I grit my teeth and deal with it dreaming of the adult beverages I'll have afterward!

Well this year was different! IT WAS AMAZING! Every training class we took we thoroughly enjoyed and we learned so damn much! I was texting teachers ideas I wanted to try with our kids and planning out all the different ways I was going implement what we learned. 

Now let me be clear, I'm not a "professional," so please feel free to Google away anything you question. But what I'm going to share with you are facts that I was given and I think all parents; biological, foster or adoptive can benefit from!

Sharing Isn't Okay

Can I borrow your car? I'll give it back at some point, but I might crash it into several different things before I return it. 

Your answer is no, right? Then why do we ask our young children to share their toys and belongings. The idea of "sharing" doesn't even make sense in a child under the age of 5's brain. 

So what if we change the expectation? What if we word what we say differently? I now tell the boys, "He's playing the truck right now, when he's done playing with it, you can have a turn." 

Is this perfect? No, but does it make more sense? Yes!

Suck the Sweet Stuff

If you follow me on Instagram, you would see I had a fabulous trip to Target the other day! I learned to throw what I consider my "parenting handbook" out the window. I gave the kids each an Icee and went on our way!

The brain can process a busy environment the easiest when you are sucking on something sweet! It worked like a charm and I will keep doing it! Also, their hands were busy holding their cups, so they didn't touch anything. AND their mouths were busy, so there weren't any arguments about which way I turned the cart! I also feel like this justifies me buying a Starbucks when I go into Target or the grocery store....I mean can my husband argue with science?!

Schedules Rock

Now I'm SUPER Type A, I like to schedule things weeks, preferably months in advance. So when I was told how much kids thrive on routine and schedules, it made my heart all warm and fuzzy!

We are now doing a picture schedule! Oh, because did you know that kids don't have an internal monologue till age 8, and only think in pictures?!?! I didn't! 

Our schedule is Velcro, because things change from day to day, and the kids each have their own "vehicle" that jumps from one activity to the next! It's still new, but I'm loving what I'm seeing! If kids know what is coming next in their day, their brain isn't in a constant flight or fight state! 

And bedtime? Well ours blows! We fight the middles for hours to stay in bed! Now we are using a flip-down bedtime routine chart! It's fabulous and it helps keeps the hubs and I in check to be sure we stick with the routine!

Our bedtime routine flip-down schedule!
This is our morning schedule. Everything moves, this helps kids also learn flexibility! 

Now I felt like a terrible parent after the conference, like I was doing everything I wasn't suppose to do! I feel better now, because I'm actually acting on what I learned! Do you have a fun parenting tool/hack/trick that you use that's working? I'd love to hear it!

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  1. I TOTALLY agree with you!! We feel the same way about the sharing deal. Love your schedule too. I've got 4 littles and this would make life a little easier!

  2. You are right! I set a timer now so they have to give others a chance. It's a pain!! My grandmother says buy three of each thing...

  3. I went to that class on Friday morning that talked about sharing and using pictures! I was like that is a perfect idea! Especially if the toy is specifically a certain child's toy, like they received it for a birthday present or something, they shouldn't have to share if they don't want to. It is their belonging.