Hi. I have a question about sharing toys. My wife and I always have the same argument around the holidays and other "gift giving" days of the year. For the most part, our kids share their toys and play very well together. The problem comes into play when my older kids (8 and 11) request "special" gifts from us, or from grandparents.
For example, this year, my 8 year old put a very popular, hand held gaming system on his Christmas list. My Mother, (his Grandmother), decided that she wanted to get it for him. My wife is of the belief that every toy that comes into the house needs to be a "community" toy that they all share, so as not to alienate the kids. My belief is that sharing is very important, but when a gift is given to a child, its "their" gift. I believe that individuality is important and if a child has the ability to rationalize a want/need, and requests a gift, and that gift is given, it should be his/hers.
My wife disagrees and feels that if one child receives a "special" gift, then all the other children, regardless of age, should receive a comparable "special" gift, otherwise its not fair. The problem is more with the 3 year old not understanding that he can't play with everything. And my wife feels that its confusing for such a young child to tell him to share his things, but that he can't play with my older son's "special" toys.
As I understand her point, I just don't agree, and its causing problems in how we teach/raise our kids. I honestly feel that if a child is given something, then it should be theirs. If they choose to share it, then great, I've done my job. But I think the choice should be theirs. Am I wrong in thinking that there needs to be a difference between toys that are designated as "family" toys/games, and special toys for individuality?
Thanks for your help.