How Do I Know If My Child Is A Giver or A Taker?
Created by Swapna Nair Updated on Nov 11, 2020
There is this famous folktale about a seven-year-old boy who fell into the river. His friends rushed and screamed out,’ here give your hand, give..’ The boy did not respond. His teacher who passing by screamed out,’ here, take my hand’ and the boy extended his hand and got saved. The teacher had understood that the boy was a taker!
How do we know if our child is a giver or a taker predominantly?
The giver and taker are present in all of us but one would dominate. You may look for these following to have an idea:
Your child is obsessed with its own reflection in the mirror and enjoys taking selfies – taker
Your child tries to manipulate you into achieving its demands – taker
Child willingly shares toys – giver
Child is ready to help – giver
A plate of goodies is offered – your child grabs the first handful- taker
A plate of goodies is offered- your child waits for his/her turn – giver
Child refuses to give in while playing a game – taker
A common scenario during school lunch break- the taker would eat up everyone else’s lunch without a care
A taker cannot accept defeat or loss
A giver is a people person
Sharing and caring comes easily to a giver
A taker is egocentric
A taker is sympathetic while a giver is empathetic
Each Child Is Unique
A child is a product of nature and nurture. I witnessed this scene recently:
The 2-year-old and 6-month-old siblings were playing by themselves. When the six-month-old lunged at a toy, the two-year-old typically grabbed it claiming the toy was her's. It is very typical of 2-year-olds to do this. Social skills are yet to develop. But what made the scene beautiful was when the mother intervened. The mother guided the two-year-old to give back the toy to the younger sibling claiming that all toys were to be shared and that she was already playing with another. Patient guidance from the mother made the two-year-old realise and she was ready to share. There was no fireworks or tear works.
Right from the time a child is able to understand what you communicate you can instil the value of sharing and giving. Parents can diligently instil share and care into their daily routine. Toddlers are mischievous and love to keep toys and their things to themselves. It is up to us to guide them. Don't think saying they are too small to understand.
As children grow and enter school, teachers play a vital role. Nowadays schools emphasise on teamwork. So it is equally important that parents coach their child to be a team player.
Teach Them That It Is Alright To Lose In A Game
Take care not to support your child (if they are on the erring side) against others or against a teacher/school. Whenever a situation arises, help your taker –child to seek alternatives. Do not assume and presume that your school going child would know what to do. Guide and mentor your child to be empathetic and humane.
Turn moments into teachable moments. This would enhance the child’s relationship with others at home, school and community. Being kind to others in thought, word and action have to be taught from early childhood. Here it is best that parents also are aware of their own values and behaviour.
A giver child is well mannered. Now it is a common myth that the single child is selfish. I know of several single children who have been brought up well and have turned out to be wonderful adults.
Hence watch out what you say and do. Your child is observing you. I remember overhearing one child telling the father, very proudly that he did not pay for a sandwich because the shop was crowded. The father did not pay much heed to it. I was appalled. Imagine how this child would grow up to be. He would be ruthless and unscrupulous, ready to cheat others. Instead, if the father had taken the child back to the shop, made his child apologise and pay up, you know how the child would grow up is it not?
Do not assume that a giver will not think oneself. A giver has to love oneself in order to love others. For this, the giver has to have a good self -esteem. And who other than parents to ensure that the child develops good self- esteem.
To sum up, observe your child in group situations. Talk to your child’s Physical Ed teachers. A child’s personality and behaviour on the ground is very different than in a classroom. Be objective and help your child if he/she needs help.
A giver would grow up to be a benevolent leader, a resourceful person, a philanthropist and be a productive citizen.
Hence do take care and all the best!