It’s not fair
10-year-old Vibin says, “Mummy always shouts and blackguards at me. She never says anything to my younger brother Aayush. Just because he’s little one he can do anything.”
One hears countless complaints from children that their parents are being unfair. “My older sister gets more pocket money than me” , “My brother is permitted to sleep over at his friend’s houses because he is a boy.” “Daddy always takes her side when we fight.”
Good intentional aims
Most parents start out with good intentions. They want to be scrupulously fair in their transaction with their children and treat all their children the same way without discriminating between them. Why this happen between all parents. Parent’s deal their children similar presents so that none should be left out. Some parents make a conscious effort to try not to lose their temper with one child more than the other. They try to apply their set of rules of discipline unprejudiced to all their children. Yet, contempt their best efforts, children continue to complain that they are getting the short end of the stick. Is there something wrong?
While it is admirable that parents want to rear their children without knife likes between them, this is at best an admirable theory or a guideline to adopt while parenting. Parents who feel guilty and shamed when their children accuse them of being unjust can rest assured that it is virtually impossible to stick to your adjudicate constant fairness.
Changeless fairness is an unrealistic expectation of parents because they have failed to factor in the most basic element of human default error and their capacity to misjudge situation and respond which is quite normal. While you can work towards the goal of being fair, do not be cast down if you find yourself straying off the path. Parents are human after all.
When parents think that they can always be fair, they have to actualize that it’s not like disciplining soldiers in the army. Each child is unique and has his own temperament. Some children are easy to talk to and reason with. Others can be stubborn and naughty and will need a less bendable hand. There is no way that one blanket approach can cover them all. Some children get shouted at more often because they don’t respond to any other kind of discipline.
Playing fair can backfire
Parents should also keep in mind that by sticking rigidly to the ‘always fair no matter what’ attitude they may be doing their children a disservice. Children are entitled their special praise and privileges depending on their needs and when they earn it. If you deny them, it will just make them feel resentful and neglected.
It is difficult to be fair when settling squabbles between siblings, especially when you cannot identify what happened or who started it or who finished it. Every child will present his own version, but you cannot afford to take any child’s word over the others. You will have to deal with them as you see fit, even if it means that one or more of your children feel that they have been unjustly dealt with.
So instead of concentrating so hard on being fair parents, may be you should work harder on ways to make your children feel loved.