By Melissa Ford
Somebody passed this tip onto me years ago: Teach your children "It's not fair." Huh? What? Aren't we suppose to educate our children about fairness, justice, right and wrong? Sounds like a lesson a good parent would never teach her child, but have you ever tried to give equally to your children or fix external situations so that everything is fair?
Sure you have and the problem? It's an endless, exhausting endeavor. Running to comfort your son's hurt feelings because his sister received a gift and he didn't, appealing to the soccer coach to give your daughter more playing time, or not being able to take one child to the store unless the other child comes along. Not giving equally to your children or trying to "make life fair" will teach your kids that their happiness isn't contingent upon life dealing them a fair hand.
You know the drill: You've been waiting in line for 10 minutes and someone behind you moves to the head of a newly opened line. You're highly qualified to fill a new position within your company and the CEO's son-in-law lands the job. You're a loyal, prompt-paying cell phone user and your neighbor joins your network for a cheaper price. IT ISN'T FAIR!
That's right! When we don't get what we want - believing life isn't fair only justifes our unhappiness and gets us stuck. The reality is things aren't fair yet you can still feel good. Once kids (and adults) learn this liberating lesson - then we can all settle down and enjoy what we have and let go of being unhappy about what doesn't come our way.
Is it fair in your family? Try a new way of guiding your child that embraces the inequities in life.