You know the drill: there is a birthday in your house and child 1 receives all kinds of new treasures while the siblings look on with hungry eyes. How do you teach birthday-child-who-has-more-than-they-could-ever-want to share his new bounty?
We had to institute a policy early on; the first day with the new treasure was just for the recipient, no need to share at all, but after that whenever asked if someone else could play with it, the answer was yes. I would watch as the new owner would begrudgingly stretch out their tight fist to hand over the item and often not be able to even watch their sibling enjoy playing with it at first. Usually within minutes they would both enjoy the gift together. It can be painful to share our toys, especially the really cool ones.
We did this to try to teach them the joy of having new things, and the importance of sharing them with others, even while they were still new. The policy worked in your favor whenever it was someone else’s big day – you knew that you were going to be able to play with all that new stuff in less than 24 hours. Over time, it became something that we said in our house, “the answer is yes” and went on to mean that we share information or time or talent when we are asked, whenever we can.
Lord, help me to keep and cultivate this mindset in our house and in my own life through all the years, not just the early ones. Help me to share what I’ve got, and to remember that the answer is yes.