Tuesday, 2 July 2013

baby birds...

I sat on the platform, waiting for my train to arrive to take me home... suddenly a pigeon flew by and revealed the fact that there was a nest hidden up on the roofing that covers half the platform... I watched as the pigeon fed its young...

There were two chicks - but only one got any food - it made sure it got in the way and blocked the parent from trying to feed the other chick, so that it got another portion. The parent made another attempt to feed the other chick and was again blocked... on the third attempt the parent gave up and flew away...

It got me thinking

... this sharing business amongst the very young... maybe its not a very natural thing at all... maybe it goes against survival instincts in the very young. Maybe there are the basic animal instincts that we just have to conquer to understand that once we grow up we need to share in able to survive, that we need to be a part of a community (sure there are exceptions - there are to just about every rule...)

... it got me thinking about how children can hoard toys and hold them like dragons guarding treasure - totally unable to play with the very toys so desirable to play with because all the focus is on ensuring no-one else plays with them...

it got me thinking about that this process of learning to share must be much more complex than we could ever imagine...

I look back and try to remember how I learnt to share, and I just don't remember. I remember learning to read, I remember getting the alphabet right and being told I could get my first reading book (aged 4), I remember learning to read with ITA and thinking that some of the letters were really hard to write (especially that ae connected together) - I remember when I worked out that weekday names repeated and were not just new random names everyday (I had always wondered who chose the names all the time - as I wanted to choose a name for a day) - I have no idea how young I was but it was before I started school... I simply do not remember how I learned to share - and yet my mum tells me that it was not easy getting a baby sister and learning to share my mother and my things - at first that was NOT an easy thing for me to do... yet I have no memory of it at all... I have no memory of my sister coming home when I was 2.5 years old, (although I do remember her pram being stolen when she was a few months old and being dragged up and down the beach looking for it, I spent the rest of my life thinking it had been my fault as I could feel my parents anger - it was first when I was in my mid-twenties when I asked my mother about the incident that I discovered the whole story and that it had nothing to do with me except having to run with my little legs after their giant steps as they hoped to find the pram).

So my memories - OK so it cannot have been too traumatic to HAVE to learn to share - even though I didn't like it. Interesting that I DID remember one of the only times my parents were really angry/upset/frustrated and that I had picked it up and carried it with me from being 2 years old - I can STILL feel that feeling, weird, eh? But it has left a big impression on me that my behaviour does leave an imprint - that it is OK to set limits and expectations of reasonable behaviour, but that it is important to do that with respect.

Sharing is one of those things that we do need to learn... to learn when its OK to do something/keep something for yourself and when its not/or can hurt other's feelings... and also to learn that sharing has its benefits as then others will want to share with you...

also you can't play much if you are guarding the toys like dragons round gold... and if that means sharing, then surely that must be a better option than just saying "mine"...

I pointed that out to a three year old yesterday... clinging onto 4 cars, doubled over so that she would not drop one and let someone else play with it... she sat down, bending over her treasure saying "no" every time another child came close... I asked if she wanted to play with the cars. Yes was the answer. I  pointed out that everyone else was busy playing and that maybe if she was happy to share her four cars with the others who only had one each then maybe she would have more time to play. She looked at me in silence. She watched the other children. She looked at the cars - and then offered two to another child and commenced to play... she laughed and played. She then looked at me "I shared the cars and now I can play" she turned away and brummed her car across the mat...

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