Birthdays can be tricky with kids. Celebrations with family and friends can turn ugly when the other children present don’t yet understand why they aren’t also the recipient of gifts and attention.
Recently we attended the birthday of a three-year-old. As she received our gift, tears ran down her four-year-old sister’s face. Our attempts at an explanation went unheard. It was her little sister’s birthday and she did not yet grasp the concept that one day we would celebrate hers. She wanted her sister’s gift. She wanted to share in the special attention her sister was getting that day. She wasn’t yet able to look back at her own birthday several months prior and recall the attention and gifts she had received. That logic was beyond her. Tears and screaming ensued.
It took some time to calm the situation. Sharing isn’t easy for anyone. Even adults struggle with it and greed and envy ruin many relationships. Learning to share with others begins in the home. How we, as children, are taught to share impacts our entire lives. Are we known as generous, thoughtful people or are we stingy and self-centred? A child who learns the joy of sharing at an early age becomes an adult who enjoys the privilege of giving back to his family and his community.