Keeping it Fair

Everyday, I am learning about this whole parenting business and the other day, Heather reminded me of something both powerful and simple when it comes to treating your kids fairly. I am not sure why I struggle with this so much. I have read over and over again (like you are about to do right now) about fair not being equal, however, I am so tempted to even things out with my two sons, that I find myself on the verge of making a darn checklist to keep it all straight.Noah and Jake seem highly aware of what the other gets, holds, sits in, plays with, etc. to the point that my soon-to-be-second-grader uses being able to tell time (how long jake has played with, sat on, held, eaten, etc. to his advantage. “Jake has held the hose for 2 minutes longer than I got to hold the hose.”  So my knee jerk reaction is to say, “Right. Jake it is Noah’s turn.” The next best thing would be to say something intelligent like, “Sounds like you would like to hold the hose again. Let Jake finish his turn and then it will be your turn.” That’s not bad BUT what Heather remembers to do is even better. It leaves the whole equal thing out and plays right into treating our children like individuals with individual needs PLUS it really works. She might say, “I know the hose looks fun, but you just got changed out of wet clothes and I want you to stay dry for a while. Why don’t you grab a book for us to read.” BOOM! No time balance thing, no checklist, no you both have to get to do the same thing.

What is the big deal about treating our kids exactly the same and playing into their obsession of he gets more than me? First, it will never ever really be fair in their eyes (unless you walk around with a stop watch, a food portion weigher and scissors and two it teaches your siblings to work against one another.

Challenge yourself today, I will be doing the same (there I go again!) and try to not equal things out but give each child what he or she needs at the moment.

Lisa

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