It’s lunchtime: homemade sautéed potatoes! The eldest is not happy “It’s not fair, Simon got more!” “We then add a little … It’s Thomas’s turn to exclaim:” Now Simon has more, it’s not fair “! Tired of these discussions, we try to end the debate with the popular saying “We do not look at the neighbor’s plate, that’s enough!” .
You can experience dozens of scenes a day like these. It exhausts us, even pushes us to the limit. And we crack “And then, do you know what? LIFE IS UNFAIR ! So stop making me [email protected]# $!…! »(Yes, sometimes the situation can go nuts !!)… In short, what to do to support our child in the face of this feeling of injustice? How to overcome the “it’s not fair”, or help to transform it?
Leaving our child with his feeling of injustice, is that really the solution?
Let’s put ourselves in our children’s shoes. Imagine that I am a commercial in a company. My manager only “passes” me on to low potential accounts and forwards all the good prospects to my colleague. Depending on my temperament, I can obviously feel injustice. If I decide to express it, my manager will not necessarily receive the thing very well and will be able to try to justify himself “No, I’m sorry. Your prospects are as likely to be signed as theirs. Simply, your colleague is more experienced in large accounts, and you the small ones. You just need to move more rather than bitch “. Such a rationale will not necessarily help me accept the situation. I feel anger, humiliation. In short, I am in a negative state of mind, I moan and I lock myself in this negative view of the situation: my manager is doing EVERYTHING to put me at a disadvantage!
Our children react in exactly the same way. If one tells us “it’s not fair”, and we brush it aside with the back of the hand, he may have the impression of counting for nothing, of being disadvantaged, or even less loved than the other. He will perhaps feed anger, resentment …
You will tell me that there is a difference in scale between not having the middle place in the car and only recovering bad accounts in your sales job. But ultimately not that much. Because what hurts at the bottom, it is not so much to be on the right in the car or to have such or such customer, but it is indeed the imbalance, the injustice, the feeling of being disadvantaged compared to to others who are problematic. Moreover, it is indeed the expression ” It’s not fair ! Which comes out first!
What to do when our child thinks that “it’s not fair”?
1 / We are not all equal when it comes to the feeling of injustice
Perhaps you have already heard of Lise Bourbeau’s 5 injuries? Sometimes some children are born with a sentiment d’injustice stronger than others. When we are not “made like that”, it can be difficult to understand this reaction, which can seem disproportionate to us. And yet, faced with this feeling, let’s try to accept that he can feel this (just like when faced with the emotion of another adult for that matter). It’s much more constructive than judging him for his feelings.
In my example at work, if when I express my sentiment d’injustice to my manager, he listens, I feel relieved. If he says to me: “I understand what you mean, I was not aware that you felt wronged. For my part, my intention was rather to (…) ”, even if he does not necessarily change my mind, of 1 / I will have felt understood, and not judged for my feelings, and of 2 / I would have better understood his intention behind this way of doing things, or at least his non-intention to create injustice.
2 / Explain and suggest an alternative
Sometimes taking the time to explain the situation, and trying to find a solution with our child can unblock the problem.
For example, to use the story of the car, if Paul hears his daddy say to him “It’s true that I promised you the middle place, I didn’t know that Jacques’ father was going to put his son there.” I am really sorry. The problem is that now we are not going to relocate everyone. I am in trouble, what could we find as a solution? You will go in the middle on the way back, is that okay? “. Even if we can not do otherwise, our child needs to understand that we did not want him harm, that we understand him and that we are sorry for this injustice that he felt.
I’m going to tell you a story that happened to me this weekend. We were going to see a little cousin to whom we still had not given his Christmas present: a “microwave” for his mini-kitchen. Seeing me packing up, Joy got confused: ” It’s not fair that my cousin has a microwave and not me! It’s the same as with Juliette. I wanted a microwave for Christmas, it is not fair that I didn’t have one! “.
That day, I opted for the option I just told you about, which was to first accept her feeling of injustice, so I replied, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know you wanted a microwave, if we had known we would have given you one for Christmas. Look, if this is really the gift you wanted to have, we can put it on your birthday list, okay? “.
We went to his cousin’s house and gave him the gift. They played it all afternoon, and we never heard from it again. Why ? Because that day it was not so much a microwave that she needed, but not to feel wronged. The simple fact that I told her that I wanted to give her one too was enough for her to no longer feel aggrieved or frustrated. Whereas if I had told her “You, you already had your Christmas presents” or worse; 😜 “It’s not good to be jealous”, she could have felt that her cousin was the “darling. And that less attention was paid to her. And that would also have reinforced his feeling of jealousy
3 / Equality or equity?
It is true that we sometimes have the impression of being fair (equitable) and that our child may find us unjust because he is “not the same”. So, rather than going up the towers so that our kid stops crying out (or asking him to suppress his emotion), let’s try to explain our intention to him.
For example, should we make the same plate of dauphine potatoes for our 17-year-old teenager as for our 4-year-old loulou? In fact, fairness is justice, and equality is similarity …
Another example, it happens to me on a blow of heart to find a small gift for one of the children, without trying at all costs to balance in the moment. Explain that it can be each turn and that we are fair over time, this can be a good basis for the future. “You know, there I found a super pretty hair clip for your sister. Sometimes I’ll think of you when I see a small car… But I’m not going to bring everyone a bar, will I? Can you imagine you and dad with a cute clip in your hair? “
Finally, like us, our children sometimes just need to feel “considered”.
Moreover, our way of managing equality has a lot to do with the understanding of our children among themselves… So, if you are looking for tips to help make our children a team… (or in any case, avoid seeing the living room to transform into a boxing ring 😉), to build a daily life with less jealousy, more sharing and increased complicity, know that we have prepared a Pack “United siblings, to avoid rivalries between brothers and sisters”: a complete (and free) file full of leads and keys so that they get along better from day to day. To receive it for free in your inbox, simply leave us your email below 👇.