02 Oct Life isn’t fair, Deal with it

Anyone who has ever been around little children has heard the famous phrase “that’s not fair”. Usually followed by some complaining about something of little importance. For kids it is an important thing that everything is fair. As parents we usually give in to these demands to keep the peace. But are we really doing what’s best, or are we doing are kids a disservice?

Think about it, life is not fair. Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people, and everything in between. Sometimes people are given more things because they are more deserving. What are we teaching our kids when we make everything “fair” regardless of the situation? This is not how it will always be, but this is what they will grow to expect. Why should 3 year old Timmy get as much candy as 5 year old Kim? Kim is older and eats more; she may be better behaved as well.

Use it as a teachable moment, teach your kids sometimes that’s just how it works out, it’s not always equal. Sometimes it is unfair, but we need to learn to deal with it. Personally I don’t want to waste energy trying to equally divide every bit of food, toys, etc, that I give my children, and I don’t want to listen to them complain about it either. As with most issues like this, it usually takes a few times of enforcing these types of issues and the child will learn. Do yourselves a favor as parents (and to the child) and decide on your rules and enforce them, regardless of the fit the child might throw.

Although I am a new parent, I have already seen evidence of this work. At a very young age we had our daughter sleeping through the night on her own, without the need for us to rock her to sleep. She could also sleep through noise because we made sure NOT to keep quiet while she slept. We purposely ran vacuums, TV’s, etc so she would be used to falling asleep with noise.

Message to Claire: Parents always say they want to give their kids a better life than they had. Well there is one problem with that statement. “Give”. This implies the child will not have to work for it. Sure, you will reap the benefits of our success, but only to a point. I want you to learn how to be successful yourself. Your mother and I decided that regardless of our ability to pay, we will only cover a max of 50% of your college tuition. Why? Because as evidenced by my college history, people are much more motivated to succeed if they have to fund their own way. I had my first 2 years of school pretty much covered by government grants and loans; I did not put as much effort into it as I should have. I think my GPA was somewhere around 2.5. The last 2 years of school I was paying cash for everything, working full time as well, and my GPA was around 3.5. Don’t forget you can fund your part with scholarships too! I do want you to have a better life, but I want it to be because I gave you the tools to succeed and you make it happen.