Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

This woman's surprising message about sharing has gone viral


It is one of the earliest lessons that we are ever taught: it’s better to share.

However one woman has taken to Facebook to explain why that she feels that isn’t the case when it comes to toys, and her post has gone viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of likes and comments from parents who feel the same.

In the post, investment educator Alanya Kolberg explains that she had taken her son, Carson, to the park, when he was approached by a group of at least six other boys.

The children all began “demanding” that Carson hand over his three toys (a Transformer, Minecraft figure and truck) according to Kolberg, who noticed that her son had soon become “visibly overwhelmed” by the experience.

“[I told him], ‘You can tell them no, Carson… just say no. You don’t have to say anything else.”

Read more: Quitting Facebook made me happier than ever

Kolberg goes on to say: “Of course, as soon as [Carson] has said no, the boys ran to tattle to me that he was not sharing. I said, ‘He does not have to share with you. He said no. If he wants to share, he will.’”

She reports that her comments earned her some “dirty looks from other parents”, but believes it was important to tell her son that he doesn’t have to share if he doesn’t want to.

She explained: “If I, an adult, walked into the park eating a sandwich, am I required to share my sandwich with strangers in the park? No!

“Would any well-mannered adult, a stranger, reach out to help themselves to my sandwich, and get huffy if I pulled it away? No again.

“So really, while you’re giving me dirty looks, presumably thinking my son and I are rude, whose manners are lacking here? The person reluctant to give his 3 toys away to 6 strangers, or the 6 strangers demanding to be given something that doesn’t belong to them, even when the owner is obviously uncomfortable?”

Kolberg continues: “The goal is to teach our children how to function as adults. While I do know some adults who clearly never learned how to share as children, I know far more who don't know how to say no to people, or how to set boundaries, or how to practice self-care. Myself included.

“In any case, Carson only brought the toys to share with my friend's little girl, who we were meeting at the park. He only didn't want to share with the greedy boys because he was excited to surprise her with them.”

Kolberg finishes by reminding parents everywhere that “we don't live in a world where it's conducive to give up everything you have to anyone just because they said so.”

“I'm not going to teach my kid that that's the way it works.”

Read more: This surrogate’s story is going viral on Facebook – and it reminds us that women are strong as hell

The post has, at time of writing, been shared 234,039 times – and received a staggering 250,000 likes. And a number of people have taken to the comments box beneath to share their own opinions on the concept of sharing.

“The adults making excuses for kids running up to other kids asking/begging/demanding they share their toys with them, are the problem,” wrote one. “Kids are allowed to bring their toys to the park. Kids don't have to share with other kids. Kids shouldn't expect everyone to share everything with them. To think otherwise is wrong. 

“Siblings are taught to share with each other, and not always or everything. Some of ya'll think it's OK to demand things of others, but it's not. People owe you respect, not use of their things. The sooner children learn this, the better. Hopefully some adults learn this lesson, as well. You should not covet what others have; work and get what you want.”

Main image: facebook.com/alanya-kolberg



Mum's letter to Sephora goes viral for all the right reasons


Women who became single in their 30s and 40s reveal what they learned

Baby Dove Perfect Mum billboard image.jpg

This billboard of a “perfect mum” has sparked a major debate


The best possible gifts for when flowers aren’t going to cut it

17 unusual and thoughtful gifts for when the s**t hits the fan

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

This Battle of the Sexes legend wants you to STOP asking about McEnroe

“I would like to see John McEnroe win a Grand Slam tournament while pregnant”

by Susan Devaney
22 Sep 2017

“The real reason we should all be upset about Uber”

Grow up: your bank balance really isn’t what’s at stake here

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Sep 2017

There's a huge sherbet fountain coming to London - and it's free

Bompas & Parr are planning a weird, wonderful and nostalgia-filled event

by Helen Brown
22 Sep 2017

Rick and Morty creator responds to sexist trolling of female writers

The show hired four women. Cue cries of “Worst. Episodes. Evah.”

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

Everything you need to know about Uber being banned in London

The taxi firm has had its license revoked by TfL

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

The new Baileys flavour you’ll want to drink well beyond Halloween

Perfect autumn cocktails ahead

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

This unexpected town has been voted the best place to work in the UK

We didn’t see this one coming

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

Harry Potter fans, this epic Hogwarts goblet is actually magical

It's perfect for Butterbeer (or prosecco)

by Megan Murray
22 Sep 2017

The hidden meanings behind the nation’s most popular baby names

Prepare for lots of girls’ names ending in ‘a’

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017