Comparisons between siblings are
bound to happen. Parents try their best to be fair, but sometimes one of the
siblings always complains. What should parents do? Ignore? The solution lies in
making the complaining child feel secure and loved.
It's not fair
Vinay says, "Mummy always shouts at me. She never says anything to my
younger brother Aayush. Just because he's small he can do anything." One
hears myriad complaints from children that their parents are being unfair.
"My older sister gets more pocket money than me." My brother is
allowed to sleep over at his friend's houses because he is a boy."
"Daddy always takes her side when we fight."
parents start out with good intentions. They want to be scrupulously fair in
their dealings with their children and treat all their children the same way
without discriminating between them. Parents endeavor to give their children
similar presents so that nobody 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 rules of discipline impartially to all their children.
Yet, despite their best efforts, children continue to complain that they are
getting the short end of the stick. Is there something wrong?
it is admirable that parents want to rear their children without discriminating
between them, this is at best an admirable theory or a guideline to adopt while
parenting. Parents who feel guilty when their children accuse them of being
unjust can rest assured that it is virtually impossible to stick to your
resolve of constant fairness.
fairness is an unrealistic expectation of parents because they have failed to
factor in the most basic element of human error and their capacity to misjudge
situation and overreact which is quite normal. While you can work towards the
goal of being fair, do not be dismayed if you find yourself straying off the
path. Parents are human after all.
parents think that they can always be fair, they have to realize that it's not
like disciplining soldiers in the army. Each child is different 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 firmer 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
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
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