Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Barbie in every toybox

posted 06/19/08

At TJMaxx the other day, sorting through the underpants, trying to find at least one pair with a smidgen of cotton in it that didn’t also look like something my grandmother would wear (designers! Know ye nothing of women’s bodies, natural fibers and comfort?), I overheard the woman next to me say in her inside voice of loud desperation to her two children, “Boys! Be nice and share! It’s good to share!”

Why?

Why is it good to share?

Why do we (the collective “other people with whom I absolutely do not agree because they are wrong” we) force little kids share their stuff?

We don’t make adults share their things. No one gets upset if a grown man doesn’t share his brand-new Mercedes convertible or riding lawnmower with his neighbor or even with his brother. No one says, “What a selfish jerk!” (Except maybe the brother.)

No one thinks that the woman with the new Kate Spade purse is a big meanie for not lending the bag to her best friend if the friend demands it.

So why should kids be forced to share against their will?

More specifically, why should kids be forced to share against their will when it might cause whining? I would think that parents would want to minimize the noise, stress and aggravation at home and would thus implement policies to that end. Wouldn’t you have a strict “no required sharing” policy? That way, no child could ever come to you and complain that Suzy wasn’t sharing her Barbie because your answer would be, “It’s her Barbie. Go play with your own toys and leave me to my People magazine and Pimms.” Give each kid his own toys, draw a line in the middle of the room with a Sharpie and be done with it.

Do liberal parents force sharing more than conservative parents? Liberals, who are convinced they can change human nature, despite thousands of years of evidence to the contrary (that human nature is immutable, that is), might be more likely to force socialist policies on their kids by making them share their toys, even though children have a highly-developed sense of property rights and know there is something inherently unjust about having to give away something that is theirs. Ha. They are just creating future conservatives, so it’s all good.

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