Shhhhh….. I am in the bathroom hiding – eating chocolate, and if the kids know I am in here, they will want one too.
Come on … raise of hands… How many of you have done this? I know I used to be guilty of this very thing.
There is an old Abbott and Costello routine where they buy a soda to share. One of them sits down and begins drinking while the other is engaged in conversation with someone else. When he is done talking, he comes to the friend who was drinking, and has now drank the entire glass of soda. When confronted he said, “but my half was on the bottom!”
A couple years back I noticed that my kids were having a very difficult time sharing. One of my children would be given some candy, and they would hoard it. I have heard it said that our sins look worse on our children, and I saw right then and there myself, hiding in the bathroom with my coveted chocolate bar. I wasn’t in there because I needed time away as much as I was in there because I didn’t want to share.
I realized, that even though my kids most likely had no idea that I was hiding in order to avoid sharing, there was the spirit in my household. But worse than that, was that I was withholding an amazing teaching opportunity to my children.
My kids were not learning how to share. Just like in the above scenario. It sounds like a funny joke, but it truly is a sad reality that if I don’t teach my kids how to share, they could truly grow up thinking that sharing means their half is on the bottom!
So I began making sure everytime I bought myself a treat, I would eat it in front of them. I became an example of what it meant to share. And when they see how happy it makes me to share, they learn that sharing brings about good feelings. We all know the NOT good feelings that come with being selfish – the guilt, the anger of the person you didn’t share with, the frustration of always being asked for some.
So, fast forward a year. My youngest daughter and I were out grocery shopping and she has been really wanting to try “the dark side” Skittles.. So I bought her a bag after she had been so patient with me dragging her on errands all day. The first thing she did was offer me some – even asking what flavor I wanted to try as she read off the list of all the new flavors. Then she made sure to set not one, but two of every flavor aside for each of her siblings. That is half the bag!
I am so thankful to God for showing me my sinfulness and selfishness. If He had not, while I have very sweet kids, I am not sure they would all be the sharers they are today.
And one side benefit of being an example… I eat FAR less chocolate when I have to share it among all my kids. I think I am losing some weight! :D