A friend of mine recently posted something on Facebook that made me feel pretty anxious and reminded me that there are some rocky roads ahead. She has a nice, kind daughter, and the little girl has decided that she wants to be friends with the resident “mean girl.”
What is our responsibility as parents when we see another child asking our child for the toy he’s playing with? Do we attempt to force sharing? Do we let them work it out on their own? What will be best in the long run? Is there a right way to go on this?
I’ve seen plenty of defiantly-worded blog posts about why parents don’t make their kids share. While I can understand where they are coming from in a way, I am not fully convinced that we should not at least encourage our children to share. It seems like a fundamental life skill. I’m honestly still sort of on the fence about how hard we should push for sharing, so I think it’s worth exploring.
I’m currently exploring the issue of that thin line between fostering kind behavior and forcing it on our children. As I explained in my previous post about preschool apologies, I get frustrated by the inauthenticity that accompanies forced apologies. This is something that I experience in my daily life as the mom of a preschooler, but it’s also something I struggled with as second- and sixth-grade teacher.
In this post, I’ll be sharing my experiences with the issue in an elementary school setting, and then outlining some strategies for moving away from forcing insincere apologies and toward fostering heartfelt resolutions. If you’re more into the funny/exasperating tales of my little three-year-old tornado, not to worry—there’s plenty more where that came from, just not this week! Continue reading “Fostering vs. Forcing: Elementary Apologies”