Tips on Teaching FairnessKids can often complain that things “aren’t fair” when things don’t work out as they want. One way to help teach fairness is to promote compromise.

Compromise is creating a “win-win” situation and finding a balance between the different needs of individuals. Compromise is essentially an “I want, you want, we could” process.

Depending on their age and/or maturity, some children will find compromise difficult. You may need to help them work through the issue. Keep in mind that you aren’t just helping them get through the current disagreement, but teaching them a strategy for fairness that they will be able to use throughout their lives.

Basic concept of fairness:

  • Play by the rules
  • Take turns and share
  • Be open-minded; listen to others
  • Don’t take advantage of others
  • Don’t blame others carelessly

Teaching fairness with T.E.A.M.

  • Teach: Talk to your child about compromise using the tool below.
  • Enforce: Consistently apply rules. Make expectations clear and predictable.
  • Advocate: Involve children in developing rules they are to follow.
  • Model: Be a good role model by compromising and being open-minded.

Discussion starter
Ask your child what they think: can you think of a time when you thought something wasn’t fair? Could a compromise have helped the situation?

Excellence with Integrity Tool: I Want, You Want, We Could

Step 1: Communicate so your needs are understood.

  • I want…

Step 2: Be creative to find a compromise.

  • We could…

Step 3: Communicate so you understand the needs of others.

  • You want…

Example:

Person 1: “I want to go to the movies.”

Person 2: “I want to stay home and read a book.”

Person 1: “You want to stay home and read. I want to go to the movies. We could stay home today and go to the movies on Saturday.”

 

Want to learn more? Check out our Parent’s Guide to Teaching Good Character

 

 

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Teaching fairness
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