I’ve often heard parents talk about how selfishness doesn’t have to be taught to kids. The illustration is usually given about kids using the word “mine.” The point is that they learn this concept naturally and parents have to teach them how to not say it.
So I’ve been waiting for those types of moments with Gavin. But surprisingly, I realized that there is a different phase that comes before the “mine” phase. Gavin loves to go around and give people his toys. I can be sitting in a chair reading and in a matter of moments half of his collection of toys will be in my lap. Even as I write this he is handing me things.
So my parental question is: which is truly in our nature if this is what comes first? Now, maybe not all kids experience it in this order, but it has got me thinking. I wonder if we are naturally selfless but we unlearn that as we get older?