Eliminate 'But that's not fair' from your house

Oh the number of times I have heard this in my house, “But Mom, that’s not fair!” Once my children started saying this statement on a regular basis, I turned that phrase into a “Bad Word!” Therefore, if you say it, you get in trouble!

The question is why is this such a bad statement that causes negative consequences in my house, especially if my child’s assertion is true that the action was NOT fair?! Because the statement in itself is the attempt to change the course of circumstances and alter the scales of inequality, which is promoting a distorted view of reality! Because lets face it, LIFE IS NOT FAIR, and enabling our children to believe otherwise is teaching them entitlement and handicapping their future!

People today believe that they are entitled to such luxuries from technology to the basics of daily living like clean water and available food! There is an ignorance in our American society that we are ingraining in our children. Hence, when a circumstance happens and our child feels his rights have been violated they become bitter and resentful; stuck in the mind-set that they deserved something that was not given to them. This type of circumstances happen frequently, and unless we as parents not only model, but also educate our children on real expectations and coping with disappointment, they will become stunted developmentally and remain a spoiled child.

Educating our children on the realities that bad things happen, life is not fair, good may never be returned to us, and we can not control the actions of others, will be a paradigm shift in their existential perspective. Help them move out of the bitterness that can build up when they feel injustice has prevailed, and empower them to control their own reactions and behaviors.

Let us all deem “fairness” a bad word, and work instead in teaching our kids to cope with disappointment and to be leaders in their own lives!

Paige Clingenpeel

Teen Therapist working with teens and parents on TV, Radio, Web-Based Media, Blogs, and Print. Presently a monthly contributor to the women's parenting & marriage site iMom.com, and host of TBN's Tween show iShine K'Nect. Paige also provides individual therapy at LifeSprings Counseling Center, and works at Parkview Health as a student assistant counselor assigned to Carroll High School. Paige is married to Ryan and has two daughters and two sons!