Sharing...A Hard Case To Sell
As I look at the titles of our songs on the first of the three original Best Buddies CDs/DVDs, I get quite amused! I wrote these songs with six little ones running around the house, sometimes on days I felt overwhelmed, tired, and honestly ready to give up!
I’m so thankful I didn’t give up or lose the courage to tackle the BIG ISSUES. Loving one another, having a relatively peaceful home, sharing (there it is again!) and children who know how to obey, really are “big” issues (just to name a few!). I pushed through because I realized how brief our opportunities are to impact our children’s thinking. Plus, I couldn’t hide from the fact that our family was like everyone else’s: there were crucial and difficult issues that we dare not ignore! Yes, let's talk a little more about our ever-reoccurring life-lesson topic, SHARING!
No doubt every family is “sharing challenged". We soon realize we need major persuasive skills to sell sharing to our little “mine-is-my-very-favorite-word” angels. We all know sharing Is contingent on being “others-centered” (yes I agree, a pretty hefty concept for little guys!). Sharing requires a reason why because there is an element of “sacrificing”: giving up what you want for yourself to someone else (okay, we need a REALLY good reason, folks!).
“It’s Not Fun If It’s Not Fun For Everybody” (song on Best Buddies CD#2) goes even deeper to the heart of caring about others’ feelings as much as we care about our own desires. Another BIG ISSUE! Our families could help us all of us be a tad more honest with ourselves on how well we are doing in this area. (If we are brave enough to ask them... later!)
The fact is I don’t know that any of us ever totally conquer those selfish, me-centered tendencies or temptations. But, truth always makes an impact on those speaking it, or singing it, as well as those hearing it! As parents, we can never handicap our children by not teaching them the truth about sharing and caring:
It IS more happy
To give than to receive!
Our selfish natures, young and old, can learn to make the good and right choices and experience the reward of giving happiness to another person.As a parent, I had to realize the most significant lessons may not fully be embraced or even understood until years later, but they are the foundation of perspective, dialogue, and identity when taught to a child.
So how do you not give up when it seems none of your children are getting it? And that is the understatement of the century!! They don’t even WANT to get it! Just a little frustrating? Consistency and patience are the key ingredients for a happy, healthy home (and certainly necessary for staying focused and on track).
The most important life challenges require major attention! I quickly learned it was crucial to consistently speak, celebrate, and break down these non-negotiables, especially sharing and being kind and honoring in our words and actions towards others. “Why share? That is who we are! Because being stingy and selfish makes us miserable, not happy!! AND, people who don’t love enough to share will never have any friends! and we want LOTS OF FRIENDS!!” Yes, we have to passionately “sell it” and make it the only choice for our family.
As we patiently teach and model better ways to talk to or treat one another. WE WILL SEE CHANGE! We can decide now to never give up dialoguing and making these truths relevant and practical. There is no shortage of real life scenarios to test this “illogical perspective” of life-style sharing. But, we do believe! It is the truth! So don’t give in!
Interestingly, kids can “make the connection” in the daily, real life challenges of caring and getting along. They seem to have an “inner compass” (we used to call it conscience) that affirms good deeds and attitudes, and yes, sharing, and even sacrificing. As the Best Buddies song says: “You’ll have twice as much fun, when you share with someone, come on and double, double, double...DOUBLE YOUR FUN! (granted at times, like buyers’ remorse, there may be a hint of shall-we-call-it “sharers’ remorse!).
Just remember: Sharing and other-centeredness is love-based and all kids need love! In fact, everyone of us has the need to be loved (yes, even parents!) AND TO LOVE. So, at the core of loving our families and friends is an innate awareness that sharing is one of the natural expressions of that love. And... it feels good. Thank goodness!
So be encouraged, Mom and Dad! Maybe SHARING is not as hard “to sell” to our kids as it seems! ❤️
Never Give Up!