I use the word share very sparingly. Instead, I say “give” or “play together”.
I don’t want my children to share. I want more. I want my children to love. I want their hearts to be so full of love, so geared toward loving others, that I don’t have to tell them to share, that they just do it. I want Warren to think of the needs and wants of his sister before his own, and I want Eve to do the same for him. I want them to see others as being more important than themselves.
So, if my goal is for them to love, why would I limit myself to insisting they just share?
When it’s just the kids and I at home, which it is most of the time, I take the time to do more. It’s a lot more effort, but that’s parenting! Parenting is never convenient, but it is worth it, and, more importantly, it’s what I am called to do right now.
Example situation: (though not a fictitious example, because this really did happen)
“Warren, which car can Eve play with? She loves you and loves to play with you? How can we help her play with you? You are right, it isn’t good for Eve to just take your car out of your hands. I wouldn’t let you take a toy out of her hands. Let’s help Eve learn to play with you, instead of take from you.”
See what I mean? Even thought that takes way more effort than saying “Warren, share with your sister” or “Eve don’t take from Warren”, it is more geared toward what I want for both of them, to love!
I realize that my kids are little, and don’t understand everything I say yet (especially Eve). However, if I don’t practice taking the time to talk things out with them now, I’m not going to suddenly be able to do it when they can understand. I need practice. I need to love them. My son is 2, he is still learning how to play, so just telling him to share is not helpful. Eve is younger than he is! I want them to love, so I need to love them first, and to show them what I expect of them.
Because what I expect of them is what God expects of me. God has sovereignly entrusted me with these children in order to teach them His way, and show them who He is. How can I teach them about God and His ways if I do not follow them? I have to do more than share it with them, I have to love them like God loves me.
Soli Deo Gloria!
It’s always about God ❤