Everyday Ways to Teach Values

Fairness

Common problems for kids:

  • She tends to blame others.
  • He's a poor sport.
  • She has trouble sharing.
  • He won't compromise.
  • She changes the rules so she can win.

How to help:

  • Be fair at home by not playing favorites and listening respectfully to both sides of a dispute.
  • Spell out family rules ("In this family, we take turns and solve our problems by talking").
  • Teach her how to share ("When Jana comes over, you'll need to share. If there's something you don't want her to play with, you should put it away before she comes").
  • Teach him fairness procedures ("I chose the game, so can you go first" or "Let's agree on the rules before we start playing").

Activities to try:

  • Ask your child if he has ever been treated unfairly and how it made him feel.
  • Provide opportunities for him to meet people of different ages, races, cultures, and religions.

Copyright © 2004. Reprinted with permission from the March 2003 issue of Parents magazine.

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