18Guatemala: Sharing Is Apparently Not Caring
Well, this would not be a surprising factor in Guatemala as they are not allowed to share! Woah. Let's take a moment.
To share or not to share? That is the question. Most of us grew up knowing that sharing is caring, at least that's what we were taught by our parents and kindergarten teachers. But what if you came across another family with kids, while you're out at the park or
at a children's fun day, and to your amazement, the other kids don't share? First, you'd say "sharing is caring" or something along those lines. But, otherwise, you'd be surprised, right?
A study was conducted that compared a group of Guatemalan Mayan toddlers and American tots, in which the former were allowed to do what they wanted without being asked to share or give up a toy to a sibling. This was for the hope that they would, eventually, learn to share at their own pace, and not because they were forced to. American children are taught to share from birth, so this test was quite interesting to see how it played out. It ended with something super cute, that only kids can do that will melt the hearts of all around, the Guatemalan Mayan kids started to share and freely modeled the generous behavior they learned while they were little.
There are moms who insist that their child doesn't share with others because they simply don't have to. What belongs to them is theirs and they don't have to share with a stranger if they don't want to. Basically, if a child is done playing with or using a particular toy, they aren't obligated to share or give it to another child. This is quite shocking for those parents who go with the 'sharing is caring' rule, more like a culture shock. But, put yourself in the shoes of the kids that are forced to share. They may feel as though they have no choice but to give up their belongings, simply because a child asked for it. At that point, sharing is not caring and actually leaves them feeling uneasy.