Sharing has always been a tricky situation to handle with children. Today on the Parenting Coach Podcast I am talking with Erin Fleming, Unschooling and Parenting Coach, about navigating sharing.
You’ll notice that Meaghan’s audio is rather scratchy. Oh the joys of poor internet signal. But we laugh about it and keep going.
In this episode we talk about
- What is the traditional approach to sharing
- What does sharing mean (3:05 min)
- What we can do to help our children learn to share
- Specific examples and scripts to say (6min)
- What does sharing look like for older children (8min)
- Erin gives some specific examples around the 6min mark.
- As parents our own reflections and feelings about sharing come in to play (12min)
- Navigating sharing with other adults who have a different philosophy (17:10)
- Navigating Family get togethers and extended family
- Offerings for parents who would would like to learn more about navigating this approach and want to connect with Erin
What is the traditional approach to sharing
Parents are generally coming from a place of good intentions and love. They want their children to be kind and giving. The tricky part is having the strategies available to help our children. Sharing has a lot to do with boundaries and consent. Children often have these types of struggles because they are still learning these skills related to boundaries and consent. When we tell a child to give up a toy or take turns in hope that they will learn to share, they are not internally deciding that they are ready to feel giving in the moment.
What can I do to help my children learn how to share?
As parents we need to consider our own understanding and motivations. How we were raised and our own thoughts on sharing and consent come into play. It may take some time if you are new to this and if your children are new to this way of thinking. You may need to be with them there more often, guiding and coaching. Facilitating some of the language they can use to help putting in a request or responding to it. You might need to help also with empathy for a child receiving a ’no answer’.
For older children the process looks similar, but they may still need some prep work and guidance to recieve a ’no’ answer. As a parent you can help ask clarifying questions and assist the children to navigate any negotiations. Trying to foster the connection between the children so that they can value each others needs and want to contribute to each others lives. Helping them to see each others needs and helping with those negotiations.
How does this discussion about sharing affect parents?
While talking we came to recognize that many parents come to talk with us about challenges they face with their children but the parents then find that they can use all the strategies for themselves. We are looking for ways in our lives that we can meet needs, and honour boundaries. We are all on this learning journey together, and as coaches we love to help parents navigate those feelings and needs and move through this process.
How to navigate sharing with other people with different philosophy
Keep practicing a power-with and collaborative approach at home so that they can build this skill set with close friends and use later at work. They will encounter other dynamics at school and on the playground .Instil your values and help them to see how to navigate that. Deconstruct their experiences they share with you. Hold the space for them to share, talk about what you wish might have happened instead.
Navigating Family get togethers and extended family
You may find you need to step in and be more active parent during playdates or family get togethers. You might even want to check in and ask the kids if they need some help negotiating. Invite them into the process and empower them. It might take time for them to open up and feel comfortable.
What offerings do you have Erin, for parents would would like to learn more about navigating this approach and want to connect with you?
- Connected Parenting course – learning about non violent communication and parenting
- NCV Parenting in Action – on going monthly connection calls
- 1 on 1 coaching
About Erin Fleming
Erin Fleming is an experienced facilitator and coach, serving parents as they navigate their relationships with their children. As an Unschooling parentpreneur with 3 kids, Erin uses Nonviolent Communication and Self-Directed philosophies to bring peace to her own busy life and she is enthusiastic to share these techniques with others! She strives to understand the beautiful needs beneath all expressions of feelings and offer support to parents as they make choices and navigate life’s complexities with connection and warmth.