Being 3 means it’s socially acceptable to have tantrums. A lot. Sometimes over actual things.
I have experienced the tantrum that lasts so long that the tantrummer is unable to remember why it actually started. I have also witnessed the tantrum that for practical reasons; is impossible to resolve… Enticing a wild bird to come back into our garden for entertainment purposes- against it’s will- for example.
The most common tantrum inducing scenario is when the expectation of ‘having to share’ is anticipated.
Such a situation can result in screaming, rolling on the floor, leg kicking, garment removal, threats and/or acts of physical violence toward the likely sharer… usually his sister.
As a parental passerby this can be exasperatingly tiresome and upsetting. A variety of behaviour management techniques may be deployed at this point , often in conjunction with the comment… *through gritted teeth*
“You’ve got to learn to share!”
Now, as behaviour is a form of communication; analysing behaviour is like code cracking….working out a hidden – or not so hidden message.
I often lie awake unpicking my boy’s behaviours; both positive and negative; thinking up fathomable explanations for them, and trying to see things through his 3 year old (incredibly beautiful) eyes. (Doing this also helps me to remain calm whilst attempting to explain to a screaming banshee of a child why a Robin doesn’t have to hang out in our back garden if he/she has pressing or alternative plans.)
We’ve had a few ‘sharing’ incidents recently; thus prompting this post (and giving me a leg up back on to the blogging pony.)
Notoriously young children find it difficult to share, but we have an expectation that they should learn to.
When we were growing up, we learnt to share.
As adults, we share don’t we? We share our pens and our staplers and our …food… right??!
Of course we do…
(Then I got thinking)
I’m crap at sharing stuff I really like…
Kelly certainly doesn’t share food. (Unless I really- really like you… Or I really really don’t like the food.)
(Maybe that’s where the boy gets it from?! He’s genetically predisposed to be pap at sharing!)
Do we get better at sharing or better at hiding what we don’t want to share from potential sharers?! I wouldn’t publicly share (for example, this has absolutely-obviously never happened…) the fact that I had bought some delicious sweets to work- if I didn’t want to share them. I would snaffle them away in my bag and stuff my face when no-one was looking… Obviously.
Is it that we learn to share, or do we actually learn the social art of recognising when someone doesn’t want to share or items that it would be inappropriate to expect to share?!
Now, my boy really loves his building bricks. They’re his pride and joy. He carts them round the house with him, they’re for building magical towers, roads and farms. Sometimes they’re “food bricks”, today they were “tool bricks”. They are really special to him.
His sister likes them too…sometimes. She knocks down his towers, licks the bricks and puts them in her toy pushchair. She posts them down the back of the sofa. She doesn’t use them in the same way Wee Man does. She moves them without asking him.
Imagine sharing something you really love with someone who doesn’t treat it with any respect. Imagine being told by all of those around you that you have to share this precious thing with this unpredictable person.
You’d be pretty hacked off right?
We might not display our hacked-offness by lying on the floor and kicking our legs (and I’m hoping we’d keep our clothes on)… because… we’re not three.
Maybe my boy doesn’t need to learn to share, maybe his 18 month old baby sister needs to learn when it is socially acceptable to share, and that sharing against someone’s will… is actually… probably…stealing?!
Maybe, my boy doesn’t need to learn to share (he shares some stuff… the stuff he’s not overly bothered about), maybe he needs to learn how to hide stuff he doesn’t want to share… or…the socially acceptable way to be really mad at someone who is disrespectful toward your stuff?!
With 14.5 and 16.5 years until the babes turn 18, I’m not panicking…
…there’s plenty of time for them to learn to… share.
Big love… as ever xxx