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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 5, 2014 / 5 Adar I, 5774

When being fair is really not, and other life lessons

By Ana Veciana-Suarez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The argument that night had to do with my lap. A comfortable, welcoming lap to be sure, but not one so special as to instigate such a battle.

Yet, there I was, babysitting my eldest son's three daughters, and the tears were flowing, the sobs were heaving and the accusations were flying. I was losing control of the situation. Even the cat had sought refuge outdoors.

The issue: Who was going to sit on my lap first, and for how long, while we read a bedtime story. No matter what I suggested, one of them objected. The only thing the three could agree on was that, doggone it, whatever their place in line, it was unfair.

"Get over it!" I finally shrieked, and decided, with the powers vested in me as an adult, to offer them my lap in reverse birth order. But even this Solomon-like decision proved tricky because it elicited the accusation, somewhat true, that the almost-3-year-old tends to get favored treatment because she's the youngest. Not to mention that the oldest two are identical twins.

Sound familiar?

Among the many challenges of parenting, one of the most difficult is achieving that elusive thing called fairness. And the difficulty is not just in the decisions. It's in controlling the visceral reaction -- sweaty palms, palpitating heart, shallow breathing, doubting mind -- prompted by the annoying whine: "But that's not fair! You let Frankie (fill in the blank)." I could write a book, or at least a long essay, enumerating the many accusations I, as a mother and now a grandmother, have faced for perceived bias.



I've been unfair about my time. My money. My belongings. My reprimands. My praise. My attention. My patience. Really, is there anything I have ladled out fair and square? Apparently nada.

The concept of fairness is so hard to define, so dependent on circumstances, that after five children and more than three decades of parenting, I've concluded that no one can or should be fair all the time. To try is to set oneself up for failure.

Another thing: Fairness is not about being equal but about being equitable. Try to explain that to a child, grown or otherwise, who thinks fairness means sameness, as if parental decisions can be distilled into a mathematical equation where A always equals B, no matter the need, the age, the situation.

Long before I knew better, I figured that once I was a grandparent this issue of fairness would pop up only in the rear-view mirror, as a funny anecdote or a moral lesson. Wrong: Comparisons are as inevitable among cousins as they are between siblings. My lap is just one of the many sources of contention. So are the tricycles, the red wagon, the big, plastic blocks, the dollhouse.

But enough.

With the blessing of grandchildren comes the possibility of redemption. Having learned a thing or two about the complexities of family relationships, about a child's ability to zero in on bias, I can impart a better lesson, one based firmly on reality.

Life, dear kiddies, is unfair. So get over it and get on with it.

Comment by clicking here.

Previously:


Bridging the Generation Gap Has Gone Too Far


Ana Veciana-Suarez is a family columnist for The Miami Herald


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