Tuesday, May 19, 2009

To share or not to share?

A valuable lesson in life for Eve down at the playground this evening. She and one of her friends T, who is 6, found two badminton racquets and a shuttle this evening. To begin with all was fine. Eve and I had one, T the other. Eve's arms are too small and she too uncoordinated to serve, so she devised a neat little trick of sitting down, placing the shuttle on her racquet, getting up and then picking up the racquet and flinging it. All was well with the world.

Until another friend, C, age 5, came to play too. And he is a boy.

C is quite a sweet, if a little unruly child. He has a new nanny, who doesn't seem to play with him as much as his last one, so the girls have adopted him and he joins in their games. He wanted to join in. Eve clearly has the measure of C and as soon as he tried to take the racquet and shuttle from her, ran in the other direction at speed. As the parent in all of this, I spent 5 minutes telling Eve that we had three toys and three people who wanted to play so she should share either the racquet or the shuttle with C so everyone could play. She ran farther away.

Eventually C managed to get the shuttle, cue a major meltdown from Eve. So much so that she threw the racquet at her feet in disgust. Whereupon C picked it up and ran off to play badminton with T. When Eve ran over, neither would give her anything to play with.

Eve cried and cried. I explained to her that if she didn't share then she couldn't expect other people to share in return. Lesson learnt.

After a little while she gave up crying and ran off and stole a push along trolley from a smaller baby. I am worried the only lesson she learnt may have been to pick on people smaller than she is.

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