The Norman Transcript

Features

February 7, 2014

How to solve the ‘it’s not fair’ problem

NORMAN — Q: I have three kids ages 8, 6 and 4. I need help solving the “pick up the playroom” dilemma.

When an area in which they’ve been playing needs to be picked up and straightened, the 8-year-old always ends up doing all the work.

The other two continue to play or just pretend to be helping.

The oldest complains that it’s not fair, and he’s right. What can I do to ensure that they all do their share?

 

A: This very common problem is the result of parents who think children are adults.

One aspect of emotional adulthood, not to be confused with chronological adulthood, is the understanding that cooperation with others is usually necessary to accomplishing anything of value and, furthermore, that cooperation results in short- and long-term benefit to all concerned.

Children are not adults, which may seem self-evident but obviously is not. When siblings are assigned to the same task, it’s typical that one or two siblings will do as little as possible while one — usually the oldest — does all the work.

That’s human nature, which is fundamentally irresponsible and always looking for the easy way out.

The solution to this problem is to rotate tasks among the kids. Picking up the playroom is a good example.

The first time it needs to be picked up, assign it to the oldest child. Send the other two kids elsewhere.

The second time it needs straightening, assign it to the middle child.

The youngest performs the next cleaning and then it’s back to the oldest.

Voila. The job gets done and none of them complains that “it’s not fair.” Or, they all complain, which, after all, is only fair.

 

Q: I have a follow-up question. Let’s say it’s the middle child’s turn and he holds everyone up by dawdling.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Low-cost and free cell phone options for thrifty seniors

    Dear Savvy Senior, What are the cheapest cell phone options available today to seniors living on a shoestring budget? I only need it for occasional calls. — Seldom Calling Senior Dear Seldom, For financially challenged seniors who only ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Harrah residents at home in restored vintage camper

    Sulphur — David Wiegert was quick to help a couple of newbie campers at the Buckhorn Campground on Arbuckle Lake in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. What Dave offered was badly needed advice on setting up travel trailers, where to ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Historic quilt from Noble on auction block

    An alert quilter and teacher is concerned about a vintage quilt from Noble that’s being auctioned on eBay....

    July 20, 2014

  • Bark for Life brings pets into fundraising

    Local American Cancer Society member and Norman Regional nurse is at it again, raising awareness for cancer patients with an event that gets people moving. “Bark for Life” is a noncompetitive walk that will be from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Deadline for entering United Way’s The Ride extended

    Kids ages 3 to 8 are getting ready to roll on their decked out big wheel tricycles in an effort to raise money for the United Way of Norman. The Ride, a big wheel race organized by First American Bank and other local businesses, is ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Fundraiser set

    The Apple Gold Group, a franchisee of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, will host a flapjack fundraiser July 26 at Applebee’s, 500 Ed Noble Parkway in Norman....

    July 20, 2014

  • Sculpture brings tornado-torn community together

    After the May 20 tornado tore through Moore in 2013, hundreds of families were left to pick up the pieces. And it was in these old, shattered pieces of people’s homes and scattered debris that two local artists found something new....

    July 20, 2014

  • Keep toddler’s hair short to help end hair-pulling habit

    Q: Since our daughter, now 2 years old, was born, we have lived with my parents. Being the first and only grandchild, she has been the center of attention. Several months ago, our son was born and we moved into our own home. Almost ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Replacement for anti-flea drugs

    Dear Dr. Fox: I have a young 19-pound cavapoo. The dog had an adverse reaction to Vectra — agitation, rapid heartbeat, bulging eyes, snapping, etc. We took him to the vet immediately, and the vet indicated that it might have had a ...

    July 17, 2014

  • Readers invited to visit construction site of new veterans center

    Karen Yancey is the Veterans Corner volunteer of the week. She assists veterans’ surviving spouses. She and her husband, George, make their home in Newcastle. When we are able to build our Veterans Corner facility, Karen can work a little ...

    July 16, 2014