Growth Spurts: My Little Pony
When Callie was two years old, our friend Kari gave her a toy for Christmas. “Oh, Callie! It’s My Little Pony!” I exclaimed as she opened the package. Very confused, little Callie looked up at me and said, “It’s yours?” I laughed so hard and tried to explain to her that that was simply the name of the toy. I don’t think she quite understood this concept, because a few hours later, when our friend Zach came to the house, Callie ran up to show him her new toy. “Oh, it’s My Little Pony!” he declared. Still confused–and probably pretty frustrated–Callie scrunched up her face and questioned, “It’s yours?!”
Poor thing. She was so bewildered. Possessive pronouns are apparently really important to toddlers. They have the urge to know what belongs to them, and quite often their favorite word is “mine.” Especially if they’re two years old. (Why is it that “mine” is one of only a handful of words that two-year-olds really latch onto and use?! That, and “no.”)
Even as grown-ups, we can get caught up in what’s “ours.” We can be downright territorial at times. No wonder our children often have trouble sharing with others! Certainly they have the selfish human nature to deal with, but it will help them if they can see the act of sharing demonstrated in the lives of grown-ups. They learn by example, you know.
Unfortunately, we never outgrow our selfish human nature. In fact, it can actually get harder to deal with as we age. That’s why it’s so important for us to begin teaching our children as early as possible about sharing and giving and considering others before ourselves. Our society is incredibly me-oriented, so it’s a tough battle to fight. But it’s a very important one.
It’s not that it’s bad for things to belong to us, to be “mine.” There are some things that are particularly special and sentimental to each of us, and I think it’s okay to be protective of that. I think that the issue arises when we aren’t willing to share anything at all, and everything is “mine.” That’s an issue of the heart.
During this season of (more intentional) giving, let’s remind both ourselves and our children of the blessedness of giving rather than receiving. Let’s look for ways to encourage sharing among our children and be sure that we are doing our own share of demonstrating this for them.
Even if it’s My Little Pony.
Carrie Bevell Partridge had a lavender My Little Pony when she was a little girl. It had white flowers painted on its hiney. Why is this? Visit Carrie’s blogs: www.oncarriesmind.blogspot.com and www.stuffmamaslike.blogspot.com