A mother’s lesson to her son that sharing isn’t always required went viral, dividing the internet about the importance of the action amongst children. Alanya Kolberg posted her an overview of her parenting philosophy to Facebook where she explains why she taught her son, Carson, to simply say “no” when he doesn’t want to share.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Kolberg, a resident of Springfield, Missouri, created the post after a particular incident in the park with her son. Carson brought toys along to share with his friend, whom they were meeting later that day, when he was “approached by at least six boys, all at once demanding that he share his [toys],” said Kolberg in her post.
She continued, saying her son became “visibly overwhelmed” and looked to her for guidance. At that point, Kolberg told Carson it was okay to say “no.”
After Carson had declined to share his toys with the others, some of the children attempted to “tattle” on Carson to Kolberg. She responded, “He doesn’t have to share with you. He said no. If he wants to share, he will.”
Though Kolberg said some other parents gave her “dirty looks” for what she said to the other children, she stands by her decision and firmly believes sharing is not a mandatory action.
Kolberg went on in her post, describing a similar scenario, but with adults as those involved. “If I, an adult, walked into the park eating a sandwich, am I required to share my sandwich with strangers in the park? No!”
She goes on to question who was actually being rude as the situation with her son unfolded. “Whose manners are lacking here? The person reluctant to give his 3 toys away to 6 strangers, or the 6 strangers demanding to be given something that doesn’t belong to them, even when the owner is obviously uncomfortable?”
The post continues, “The goals is to teach our children to function as adults. While I do know some adults who clearly never learned how to share as children, I know far more who don’t know how to say no to people, or how to set boundaries, or how to practice self-care.”
Some people posted messages of support regarding Kolberg’s decision to teach her child it is okay to say no.
Others disagreed with the lesson Kolberg taught her son.
However, there was a third group also involved in the discussion. For those interested in bypassing issues similar to the one outlined by Kolberg, many commenters suggest simply leaving the toys at home.