Here’s Why You Should Teach Children to Share

An old writing desk and chair.

Nothing of value was inside except for a small booklet where all our birthdays were indicated, even down to the hour and minute. (Image: Erikthered via Dreamstime)

My mom had an old writing desk with a drawer she always kept locked. None of us six children knew what was inside the drawer as my mom never shared the contents with us. Two months after my mother passed away, my sister opened the drawer. Nothing of value was inside except for a small booklet where all our birthdays were indicated, even down to the hour and minute.

My mom always said that the most incredible wealth in her life was her children. She devoted much of her life to teaching us to share, be responsible, and always be optimistic. When we were little, my mother occasionally bought us all popsicles and said: “Let mom have a bite.”

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I wished my mom would only take a small bite or none at all. However, she always had a big taste from my popsicle. I got used to it over time, and whenever I had something good to eat, I would always let my mom have a taste.

If my mother was not at home and I was about to have something good to eat, I would ask one of my brothers and sisters: “Where is mom?” as if something would not taste as good if I did not share it with her.

After I gave the box and was about to leave, his wife returned from the market with a basket of fresh persimmons and shared six of them with me.
After I gave the box and was about to leave, his wife returned from the market with a basket of fresh persimmons and shared six of them with me. (Image: Natalia Sokko via Dreamstime)

When mom was sick in the hospital, she asked for some bean juice and persimmons. I eventually found the bean juice, but persimmons were a different story, for they were not in season.

Later that day, I had to deliver a package to the mayor’s house. After I gave the box and was about to leave, his wife returned from the market with a basket of fresh persimmons. I was overjoyed when she offered six of them to me. I ran straight to the hospital with the fresh persimmons. My mother ate two of them and told me they “tasted perfect!” Sadly, she passed away just three days later.

Everyone in the family knows how to share

Besides the six of us, my mom raised three grandchildren, and we all knew how to share. So sharing was a family tradition. I shared this with my son when he was just a baby, and now he constantly thinks of me whenever he is about to eat something special.

Once, when my son’s kindergarten class had a party, the teacher gave each of the children two pieces of chocolate. After my son received his work, he went to the back of the room to find me and said: “Hi mom, please have one of my chocolates.” I opened my mouth, and he popped it right in! When I told him it tasted terrific, he ran back to his seat with a big smile.

Another parent sitting next to me said: “Your son is so caring! Look at my son. He ate his two pieces of chocolate without even glancing up at me.” I smiled and said: “Sharing is a habit that can be cultivated when one is very little.”

chocolate
Once when my son’s kindergarten class had a party, the teacher gave each of the children two pieces of chocolate and my son immediately shared one with me. (Image: Flynt via Dreamstime)

When my son was 11 years old, he called me at work and said: “Mom, can you come back early today? There is something good at home.” Of course I said yes, but I ended up working late. By the time I got home, it was already 9 p.m., and my son was asleep in bed.

When I walked into the kitchen, my mother said: “You did a good job raising your son. He and your father made cucumber-fried shrimp. He ate the little pieces and saved all the big ones!” That day I ate the most delicious shrimp in the world.

Today, my son is grown up and has a son of his own. So whenever I say: “Give that to grandma!” my little grandson immediately puts whatever he has into my hand.

My mother left this world surrounded by her family. And although she did not give a penny to us, she left us something far more valuable. She taught us how to behave appropriately, survive, and realize happiness comes from sharing.

Translated by Yi Ming

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