Fairness. It’s the hatred glue that binds all siblings together and the beginning of almost every one of their arguments. My skin literally crawls at the word, yet my children enjoy discussing fairness to an exhausting degree.
“She has more ice cream than me! It’s not fair!”
“He’s one millimeter closer to the middle of the couch — he’s not being fair!”
“There’s a slight chance that she might be having more fun than me in this moment and that just doesn’t feel fair!”
From desserts to the placement of the iPad to birthday party invitations to the exact number of Cheerios that are in their freaking bowls, my kids have somehow come to believe that life is fair. Why? I don’t think that I have intentionally taught them this. I don’t think that I have ever once said, “So, kids, guess what? Everything in your lives is going to be exactly equal, including the drops of water in your cups, so please, please let us know if you think that we are failing at this job as your parents.”
I’m pretty sure that I didn’t say this.
So, in an effort to not raise assholes, we are slowly, painfully trying to teach them that this world is not fair. They won’t find fairness in school, at work, or in their relationships and we don’t want them feeling blindsided or walking around thinking that they don’t have to fight for what they want.
Here are 10 ways that life is not going to simply lay back and be fair to them:
1. Students who don’t work as hard will get better grades.
And sometimes this will be them. They will see kids who don’t try at all get straight A’s, and they themselves will struggle. That is life. And no, it’s not fair, but neither are taxes.
2. They will lose when maybe they should have won.
They will cry and feel miserable and feel like nothing is right in the world, but maybe if we break life’s unfairness to them early, they will be willing to get up and try again.
3. There will be people who simply don’t like them.
No matter how hard they try, there will always be that one person who thinks they suck. And they need to move on.
4. They won’t fit in.
They might want to be part of a certain group or team and they won’t get invited to the party. This will happen, and they will survive.
5. Jobs will be given to people who don’t deserve them.
I’ve seen this happen and it’s painful and wrong and unfair. Life is predictably unfair.
6. Bullies will sometimes get the upper hand.
But we just have to go in and vote this November so that this doesn’t happen.
7. They will get sick on the first day of vacation.
At least once in their life. For sure.
8. They will have their hearts broken.
By someone who isn’t worthy of them.
9. They will try their hardest and then they will fail.
Hopefully, if they are living life the right way, this will happen over and over and over.
10. And, yes, their sibling might get more chocolate on their ice cream.
We will teach our kids that life is going to whack them around a bit and it will feel completely, horribly wrong. We want them to be prepared for all the crap that will come their way so that when unfairness sneaks up on them in the dark of the night, they are prepared and can face it head-on and not rely on us as their parents to fix it.
Because, seriously, I can’t even fix the Cheerios situation around here.