We expect children to be able to share all sorts of treasures, from new toys to treats, information to friendship; yet the reality is that when grown ups say, “share that toy with your friend,” the child’s first experience is loss – they are losing physical contact with something that is bringing them great pleasure. “Please can you share your chocolate bar with your friend?” “What! Are you serious!” How can this be sharing? I’ve just lost a piece of my chocolate!”
It is hugely challenging for a child to understand how to share a meaningful relationship with another person if they do not understand what it is that they are receiving in exchange.
If we start by teaching children that sharing starts within our self as friendship then we enable them to grow an awareness of values and beliefs and when we share from a place of “I am a great friend to me” then we receive pleasure, a warm heart and deeper more meaningful connections.
How are you grateful this week? What have you achieved that you are proud of? Have you thanked yourself for making this effort? What positive words have you thought about in relation to you? Did you enjoy the concert? How was that new restaurant? How do those flowers make you feel? What an awesome game! Yep, this chocolate is definitely delicious and all mine, this time.
Being our own friend means that we get to share to share all sorts of treasures, from new toys to treats, information and friendship with our own self. This conscious act positively wires our brains for making creative connections, fills our hearts with loving kindness and fuels our gut courage to try new activities and seize opportunities.
And, most important of all we model this behaviour to our children and everyone else in the world.