As parents, teaching your children about the importance of sharing is a vital lesson, but many parents will also ensure that their little ones know that they don’t always have to share when it isn’t appropriate to do so.
But one mum has been left furious after she was told by a stranger in a park that her son would grow up to be “entitled” because he wouldn’t let another child play with his toy – after they stole it from him.
The woman, named Corrie, explained in a video that her son had brought a toy truck with him to the park because he enjoys playing with the gravel.
After getting bored of playing with the truck, the mum and her son moved on to the swings and put the toy truck down on a bench alongside the mum’s coat – where it was then pinched by another child that they’d never met before.
In a video posted on TikTok, Corrie – who posts under the username @c.maxxy – said: “He got bored [of the truck] and wanted to go on the swings, so I left the truck on the bench by my coat. I thought that because my coat was there, no-one was going to take it.
“When we were done with the swing I said ‘Okay baby you have 5 more minutes, what do you want to do?’ and he said rock truck. I’m like great, let’s go get it. But it’s not there.
“So we start looking around the playground and then I see a little boy around 4 playing with my son’s truck. I look around for the mum, but there is no parent that I am seeing that is attached to this child.
“With my son, I go up to [the child] and I say, ‘Hey bud, that’s Elliott’s truck, can he have it back?’ and he gives me a dirty look and says no because he’s playing with it.
“I ask where his mum is and he points to her, so I go over to talk to her.”
When Corrie spoke to the mum, she claimed that her son was allowed to play with the truck because they’d found it on the bench, and when Corrie tried to explain the situation, she was simply told that her son could “share”.
The other mum then told Corrie: “Your son is going to grow up to be self-entitled if you don’t teach him to share.”
Corrie eventually snapped back at the mum and told her that if she wasn’t going to take the toy from her son, then Corrie would take it from him instead, which prompted the other woman to give the truck back to its rightful owner.
And the TikTok user said at the end of her video: “Sharing is not always caring and I don’t want to teach my child that he’s entitled to anything he wants just for the sake of ‘sharing’.”
Commenters on the video were firmly on Corrie’s side, with many saying that the real parenting moment from the situation is teaching children not to take things that aren’t theirs without asking.
One person wrote: “I think the actual issue isn’t about sharing, but about taking something that doesn’t belong to you without asking.”
While another added: “Sharing is not caring if people just help themselves, sharing is caring is when people ask.”
And a third said: “I feel like this situation is so different to normal sharing. That kid took something that belonged to someone else in a public place.
“That to me is like someone leaving their beach towel by their bag and someone else using it because it was left there. It’s not to do with sharing.”