14 December 2007

Owning vs. Sharing

My quest to buy Nintendo DS units has turned into a bit of a kerfuffle. Before I explain it, let me say that there is nothing more frustrating than having a heated discussion via mobile phone. Grrr!

ABM feels that in order for us to raise selfless kids, they should share all their belongings. He wants to buy four DS units and keep them in our room for the kids to check out like library books. No particular unit belongs to any one kid. On the other hand, one of the main reasons I wanted to get DS units instead of a Wii was so that each kid could have something that belongs to them. We have had them share so many toys over the years that I thought it would be nice for each of them to have something they didn't have to share.

I can't believe that I have been married to ABM for close to 20 years yet I am still learning new things about him. He said to me tonight that if a toy/book/whatever is sitting on the table and one of the kids picks it up and plays with it, the owner of the item is not allowed to go over and say, "Give that back to me." Huh? I agree that the owner shouldn't snatch the item away or be rude, but I think the fault lies with the kid who picked it up because s/he knows that the item doesn't belong to him/her. S/he should have asked the owner of the item for permission to use the item. ABM says that this promotes selfishness because the owner will say "no" just because s/he can. Yes, I have seen my kids do this, but does that mean that they should never have anything to call their own?

I have a feeling that this discussion is going to continue when ABM gets home because I don't think I got my point across over the phone. Mainly, if the kids are forced to share, are they really going to share on their own when given a choice? I don't think so. My mother didn't take it to the extreme that ABM is espousing, but she didn't jump in and referee when my siblings took something of mine, either. As an adult, it is difficult for me to share anything -- my food, my yarn, anything. Don't even get me started on sharing my computer :-). I can already see the same tendencies in C1. She is fiercely protective of her stuff. I've tried to tell ABM that this is a result of making the kids share so much, but he doesn't believe me. What do you think?
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