Monday, January 24, 2011

"Life's not fair" lessons....

I have felt bad that I haven't spoken much about parenting my oldest.  She really makes being a parent easy.  Just recently, an interesting piece of information came to light and I thought it would make an engaging post.

Here's a little background for you.  We belong to a small town school system that has grown leaps and bounds in the last few years.  They pride themselves on "strong, upstanding morals" that are upheld throughout the school system.  They use the "Discipline with Purpose system" and seem to be very conscientious about student behaviors.

Now, what we learned from another parent was that the PE teacher was picking two captains in class to pick their own teams.  I thought that this kind of practice had been long done away with.  So, one night, I asked our daughter about it.  She said that it did happen.  She explained that the teacher will ask who has not been captain yet and then pick two people who had their hands up.  She said that she had been captain once, but everyone else lied and have been captain two or three times.  She also said that she was often picked last and it wasn't very fun.  I reminded her that she gets picked first for other things and that it's not that big of a deal.  I also found out that this doesn't happen at every class and the teacher does pick randomly too.  That was the end of that conversation and life has been rainbows and roses for her since.

Out of curiosity, my husband and I were asking friends about this practice and what they would do about the situation.  We surprisingly were given many responses about how this is good because it teaches kids that 'Life isn't Fair'.  Now, I agree that picking Captains once in a while is good because it can be a learning experience.  But to think that 'Life isn't Fair'...What a horrible thing to teach a child.  What a cop out as a parent!  No wonder there are so many people out there with a helpless feeling, thinking that 'Life isn't Fair'.

Life IS fair!

Life is about balance.  When something bad happens, something good usually follows.  We need to teach our children that even though bad things happen, good things happen too.  We need to give our children the tools they need to be able to get through an unpleasant or bad situation.  To persevere in the face of injustice and to handle hard times with grace because it will get better.  We need to teach them that there is always hope.  Yes, bad things happen in life and that really sucks, but bad things will pass with time.  People get sick, but then they recover.  People lose their jobs, but then they find a new opportunity.  People pass away, babies are born.  What a wonderful balance there is to the world.  Full of hardships and extreme joys.  What an amazing spectrum of feelings we endure.  Without the bad, how can we truly appreciate the good times.  To just simply say that 'Life isn't Fair' and leave it at that is teaching them that when something bad happens that there is nothing you can do about it and it will never get better.  Teaching helplessness, hopelessness and indifference should have no place in our children's lives.  I promise that no matter how bad you think things are right now....they will always get better.



  1. wow, I love this post! You are so right. People sometimes say we shelter our children....that we need to let them see how life isn't always fair. We don to some extent, because we want them to feel secure when they are young, so as they grow emotionally, they can deal with the hardships. Exactly what you said...their is balance!

  2. Thank you so much, Holly! I just can't believe that something can be said to a child without explanation. They need to be able to understand what's going on and that they do have choices. This goes for both extremes....coddling and 'tough love'...both of those practices at a young age will only lead to inability to be confident in decision making.


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