Tuesday, February 24, 2009

DIFFERING EXPECTATIONS

FOCUS ON THE FAMILY

 

From TODAY, Voices

Thursday, 19-February-2009

 

By Dr James Dobson

 

Children are extremely sensitive to issues of fairness at home, but is it really a worthwhile goal to give your boys and girls identical experiences in the name of fairness?

 

Family psychologist and author Dr Kevin Leman tells of a time a mother asked him about setting up different bedtimes and allowances. “Won’t the younger boy feel it’s not fair? They’re only two years apart!”

 

Dr Leman responded: “Why don’t you wait until the boys are 14 and 16. The 16-year-old will have a driver’s licence. You can suggest that your 14-year-old beat his fist on the counter at the traffic police department and demand one too!” The mother considered this response silly. And it is because life is not fair.

 

We can’t all be treated the same everywhere and every time. In the real world, our children will run into all kinds of inequities. We, as parents, need to prepare our children to face the future. Establishing reasonable but different treatment for each child based on age, ability and personality, starts the process. Anything parents can do to prepare their children for the real world will pay off in the future, and often in the present as well.

 

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