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The Day I Realized I Was Putting Sharing Over My Child's Self-Worth

Updated: Dec 27, 2020

Yes, self-worth over sharing. I said what I said, and I myself thought the idea was rubbish until 1 year ago...when it became clear I was compromising my child's self-worth for a lesson on generosity.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

This post is so overdue, I've been wanting to write this to A. communicate such an important message and B. publicly give credit to one of my best friends who taught me SO much about what it means to respect my child (I'll refer to her as my sis for now).

So let’s get into it…sharing is caring right? Yes, caring for others. Thing is our kids must first learn to care for themselves...their needs, their cup. After all, aren't we all only able to optimally care for and give to others when our own cup is full, when we are feeling whole and complete ourselves? I realize it’s not always possible, but if it can be helped this is the ideal.

Walk down memory lane with me and it will make more sense if it doesn’t already.

I'll never forget that day (though my sis may have, it's only one of the many times she's saved me from myself). Our kids are best friends and this season last year, we were spending a lot more time together. My son and I were going through tough times and my sis made it her business to be a rock for my family; frankly my son and I wouldn’t be where we are today if it hadn’t been for all her love and support (and my parents who moved mountains to fly down whenever they could).

I want to share this day in as much detail as possible so that you can feel as if you were there, by my side, witnessing the revelation unfold. I obviously don’t recall all that was said verbatim, but this is pretty close.

On this particular day we were out on a playdate at an indoor playhouse. My son immediately gravitated towards this red car ride-on, he jumped on it and rode it around the play area, his face beamed with excitement. He loved it so much he even dragged it with him inside the tight, little playhouses. It was odd to me, as I hadn't seen such an attachment to toys especially in a public place.

My son, guarding the red ride-on with his leg.

He was parked by a playhouse when a much younger boy came up to him gesturing interest in the car. My son quickly clenched the steering wheel and anxiously turned to me as my meddling ass approached them both,

"Honey, the little boy wants to ride this, let's share alright?"

He nervously, but firmly responded "I'm still using it," and then sped off.

I was stunned, then I just saw red, "BOOOY! The utter disobedience &!$^%*($!@..." you might be able to imagine what obscenities played out in my head as I stomped over following him, demanding his compliance,

"KALEV, I was speaking to you and you drove off. How rude?! The little boy wants to use the car, you've used it for 15 minutes that's a long time,"

I might as well have growled as I angrily muttered "give him the car RIGHT this second…

(then threw in a dose of shame) your teachers always praised you for sharing with the younger kids, remember? What's gotten into you?"

My son did. not. budge.