THE BLOG

Parents: Teach Your Children How To Share - It's About To Become Vital

22/08/2016 17:33 | Updated 22 August 2016

This week trade unions revealed that rail fares have been rising at double the rate of wages. We are constantly reminded of the country's housing crisis - especially in central London - and the inability of young people to get a foot on the housing ladder. It's becoming increasingly clear that the growth rate of our population is not being matched by investment in services and resources in our largest cities.

Globally the growth in middle income populations means that the Earth simply cannot cope with providing everyone with their own personal items. 'Earth Overshoot Day' - the day on which we have used up the sustainable budget of global resources - came earlier than ever this year on August 8th.

This strain is why sharing our belongings and amenities is going to be so important in the near future.

We've all heard of Airbnb and many of us are happy to rent out our rooms or homes out to other people. But research from easyCar Club shows that a huge 60% of people have never even heard of the sharing economy, and a further 35% of Brits don't understand the term well.

Right now, the key benefit of sharing economy platforms is that they're a fantastic way to make or save money. The tech-based nature of these brands also mean their services are often more smooth and convenient than traditional providers.

But in the near future, sharing belongings will no longer serve a primary aim of saving time and money. It will be a key component in reducing the strain on shared amenities and on the environment.

Down the line, we'll need to share items as resources become increasingly scarce. The recent rail fare statistics clearly demonstrate ever-increasing demand for efficient transport: soon it will be important to make more effective use of the resources we do have - such as cars on the road. Before long, this will be true of all kinds of belongings.

And as the sharing economy becomes less of a money-saving trend and more an essential mechanism in society, it's clear that people being comfortable with sharing will be vital.

Of course parents always teach their children to share, but now more than ever we should be instilling in our children a familiarity with sharing belongings and spaces, and reducing emphasis on a sense of entitlement to their own individual items.

We're already seeing people - especially millennials - moving from valuing objects to valuing experiences. This 'experience economy' goes hand in hand with a devaluation of objects for objects' sake - but the most important items to us will still have value in their key uses, if not in their ownership.

Parents should encourage a shift from valuing ownership of objects to valuing how we can use them. We must help our children be less precious about what is 'mine' and 'yours', and be more comfortable with 'ours'.

We can start by leading by example. Trust is key to being happy sharing your belongings, and this is something we should be building within our own communities. Our recent research revealed that only 30% of Brits trust their neighbours. Meanwhile Harvard Business School researchers found that some sharing economy platform users discriminate against minorities. We should put in the effort to strengthen local ties and show children the value of trusting others - what we can gain when we share and share alike.

The sharing economy is only set to become more important. We should show our children how to embrace it.

More:

Uk Parents
Comments

CONVERSATIONS