Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Who says babies can't share?

Well, I know technically they can’t at this point in their development, but they can certainly get close. The sweet little guy has recently begun feeding me his finger foods. Certainly he will not pass on a Gerber star puff thing, but he has fed me his Cheerios and some of his little freeze dried corn bits. Of course, he took the corn back out of my mouth before I could swallow it. I think him feeding me his food is right up there with his version of a hug – really just him resting his head on my shoulder and stretching his arms out. (Nothing will beat his kisses though – big, open mouthed, and often with tongue.) He also has been enjoying handing us everything he finds. I think it’s more because we respond so nicely to his sharing, but I’ll take it.

I read an article in a magazine recently that talked about how to handle the fact that babies don’t yet understand the concept of sharing. It explained that if a baby takes a toy from another baby you are not supposed to take the toy back from him because he follows your example, and that would teach him that it is ok to take things from others. You are supposed to give the dejected child another toy and show your kid that you are trying to comfort the other baby so that yours may eventually learn empathy. This is all well and good. I mean, I understand it in theory. But how am I supposed to explain this to little Sally’s mom after Sam has taken her fill-in-the-blank? She doesn’t get her toy back and I offer her something lame from my own diaper bag? I don’t know. I’ve tried this in our little music class while all the other moms are trying to referee sharing time between 2 babies by passing the coveted toy back and forth from one kid to the other (which just results in 2 crying babies, by the way), and I don’t feel it went well - strange looks from the moms. And of course we’re in the midst of singing “Trottin’ Old Joe” so it’s not like I can explain why I appear to be supporting my son’s blatant thievery. It’s probably a good thing that Sam has decided that all he wants to do in class now is explore the piano pedals and try to push it around – if there is something in the room with wheels, he will find it.

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