How to Be Fair as a Parent
- Do not take sides; rather show the kids how to work out the problem.
- Validate your childs’ feelings. Acknowledge that the aggressor may need to express some frustrations.
- Help your children channel their feelings into creative outlets, e.g. have a pillow fight to release hostile feelings.
- Give children in fantasy what they do not have in reality, e.g. “You wish your sister could go away for awhile.”
- Beware of putting your children into roles by labelling and stereotyping, e.g. “You are the responsible one!” or “You are so stubborn!” Exercise: See whether or not any of your children is playing a role, for whatever reason, and think about how you might free that child to become his most whole self.
- Treat your children as individuals; do not compare.
- Be willing to accept the fact that your children may not like each other; so do not put them in situations that may be difficult for them.
- Focus on your childrens’ individual needs. Give time to your children in terms of need, e.g. do not worry about it being equal time.
- Show your children how they are loved uniquely.
- Do not give attention to the aggressor. Many times the aggressor is looking for attention, by responding to the aggressor first, you are inadvertently rewarding him/her for their negative behaviour.
- Be careful of identifying too much with one child according to how you were raised; remember each child is unique.
- Focus on a child’s abilities, not their disabilities.
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