Sharing isn’t a foreign concept to MM…..it’s just a concept he’s still learning and I had a proud mama moment yesterday.
It’s tough when you’re the “only child”…..or at the very least, the only one in the house. MM’s sisters are grown and live away from here. How does one learn to share when there is no other children in the house to share with? Well, it’s a bit harder and takes more time, but it is possible. You must model sharing for your child/ren to learn the act. There are games you can play together to learn sharing techniques. MM went through early intervention with First Steps when we realized something was amiss and we could not do it on our own. Things were going downhill and we needed the help to learn how to help MM, and to have someone helping Munchkin Man. (MM came home from Guatemala at 18 months of age)
First Steps came to our home for their initial visit to evaluate MM to see if he qualified for First Steps. MM totally surpassed all their “tests” except one…..behavior. They kept telling us they couldn’t believe how smart he was for his age. I tend to agree but I work with him a lot, which helps, and some of it is pure genetics. During their visit, First Steps watched our interaction with each other and made a suggestion to me. Something I never even thought of and just did without hesitation…..what you ask? MM would want something that I was playing with and he’d take it out of my hand and I’d let him. I never thought of it as actually TEACHING MM to not share, but also was teaching him that it’s ok to take things from other ppl. WOW…..was that ever eye-opening to me and dh. I have consciously never done that any more…not once. MM saw First Steps on a once a week basis until he turned 3. We were then on our own again……
Behaviors were getting worse and while at preschool, there were a lot of tears on the part of MM and other children because of lack of sharing…..I know this is a trait all kiddos need to be taught…it doesn’t come naturally. BUT….something happened yesterday that made me sooo very proud of MM….and he was proud of himself, too.
We were at a birthday party for a 1 year old…..and MM does NOT do well with children younger than he or even if they are his age and not on his level…..not a good mix for him. He tends to get extremely frustrated and makes this grunting, aggravated noise if anyone comes near him. MM was getting very very antsy just sitting watching the baby and others mingle…..he needed to be active and NOW, not later. I took MM to the back of the room where there was an empty space and let him play with a balloon…kicking it, hitting it, throwing it up in the air…..he was having a great time. As the party wore on, more and more kiddos were showing up and MM didn’t like that at all and expressed his dislike of this…..too much chaos in his world is not good…..and something that you and I think is nothing at all, like more ppl showing up and it filling up, was simply too much for him.
There was a little girl who had just gotten to the party and she was the ONLY lil kiddo without a balloon. She was crying, naturally. I told MM that it would be very nice to let her play with the balloon he was playing with since he’d been playing with it for a LONG time and she didn’t have anything to play with. He expressed that he still wanted to play with it. I said, “How would you feel if you just got here and everyone else had one but you?” Sad, he said. Then he walked over to the little, crying girl and offered her his balloon. I was sooo proud of him!!!!
He had been learning bit by bit……but what I was honestly trying to teach him beyond the sharing was empathy. Children with RAD lack empathy. It’s a start but boy oh boy…….we’re making progress. I celebrate each and every step….however small it is!
God’s blessings to each of you….