Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sharing is making me crazy!

My children don't know how to share. I've tried teaching the principle. I do my best to live the principle. I've showed them how to share and I've praised them when they do to re-enforce it. I've done it just like the books teach. Still, my kids fight so much about everything.

My two oldest have dart gun with Nerf-like darts. Each gun had four to start with. Now only four remain of the original eight. My oldest claims he has lost none and all four belong to him.

This morning, three of the kids were playing with blocks. Instead of just building something great, it became a greedy fight. Who can get the most blocks? Daughter insisted she needed one certain block that brother had. He would not give it up and declared he needed it more. Screaming and crying soon followed.

Last week at dinner, the table was set. The cups we use for the kids are colored. No color is assigned to each kid. It is just a random thing of who gets what color. After I pour the drinks, daughter announces she wants the purple one that her oldest brother has. He quickly takes a drink out of it and says it is his. She refuses to drink from the red cup in front of her.

When we pop popcorn for a family movie, they eat the popcorn as fast as they can, to make sure one of the others doesn't get more.

At various times during the day or week, you will hear one of the children yell, "Don't follow me! I want to be alone!" Several things happen after this. Either they announce they want to be alone, but stay in common rooms and get mad when they others are in there or they go off to their own room or outside and one of the others will spitefully follow them and knock on the door or yell at them through the door.

They are so greedy. Does anyone else have greedy children or am I the only one dealing with this? I can understand my two year old having a hard time with sharing, but why are my nine and seven year olds fighting about sharing? I'm going nuts with all this meanness that is going on. All these things they are fighting over - the darts, the blocks, the colored cups, the popcorn - are completely ridiculous things to fight over too. It is all so stupid! Ahh!


SLC said...

Um...sorry about that. I don't really know what to do about it either. I think what makes it really hard is even though you and hubby are being a good example, the kids look more to each other sometimes for guidance. So when the oldest child is the instigator a lot of the times with these problems - the younger ones will tend to follow his example more than yours. The little ones see how he acts, how he treats them, and imitates him or puts up defense walls (wanting to be alone, etc). Of course that eggs him on, exacerbating the problem. I think about you as the oldest sibling. Sure, you were mean sometimes - luckily I was too little to really remember those times - but for the most part, you were very obedient to mom and dad and very nurturing to us. You and Scott were always correcting my behavior - I feel sometimes that I learned more from you and Scott about how to treat others than Mom and Dad. Now I know that they of course taught me a lot, but lessons from your "peers" sticks much more. Does that make sense? Now I know how sweet child #1 can be - I really do - but I also know him and his personality in regards to his siblings. I also know that child #2, left to his own devices, is a sweet, nurturing little guy. Maybe you could be extra sure to encourage him and praise him in being kind to the others. The oldest is after attention, good or bad, but maybe when he sees his little brother get a lot of good praise for his kindness, he will eventually want to emulate him. I don't know - just a thought. Think of Nephi being the good example to his older brothers - it can happen. (not that I'm comparing oldest child to Laman and Lemuel - just the story concept). I am sure there are a lot of great parenting books out there that talk about this very situation - in fact, I'm sure you've read some of them. Maybe dust of the books and review some of their techniques. After all, since my kids are perfect, I don't have this problem. Just kidding :)

ML said...

Thank you, oh perfect sister with the perfect children. :)

You made many good points. It is hard when the oldest has not been the best of examples. He has taught much of his behavior to his siblings - good and bad. I see it all the time in the younger ones.

We've talked about the problem, as a family. We've talked about how it feels when someone treats us bad and when you do that to someone else, you make them feel bad. They obviously don't care that it is making me mad, it hurts my feelings when they are mean to the others, and it hurts my ears when they make the little ones scream. The search for the solution is still going on....

Benteti5 said...

When you find the solution, publish and make money girl. I guess I don't see it as much cuz you have more kids which means more people to compete with. I think one thing that may help, which you may already do, is let the big kids win sometimes. Usually the baby and the girl get all that they want which irks the olders. They need to learn that they don't always win and the olders need to win sometimes without getting in trouble. Just a thought. Maybe it's just a phase and will be over soon. Still can dream, right?

Mama Spud said...

I have an 18 year old that moved out of the house and across the country and has no plans of returning home other than a short visit. That leaves us with one bedroom not being used. It is a mid-sized room and my daughter's bedroom is about the size of a closet. You would think that the solution is obvious -- move the daughter into the larger vacant room. Well, every time the 18 year old calls (about every day), he wants to be assured that his sister did NOT move into his room. I just keep telling him that she has not moved into his room. (She sleeps in there - but her stuff is still in her room). I thought that when they moved out of my house, the arguing would stop. I obviously haven't found a solution. I guess there's always hope.