Obrien Kids-its not fairThese six words are often stated in this household. Unfortunately, it’s just the way things are.

I don’t like telling my children that it’s not fair, but they will have to deal with it – especially when it comes to parenting and trying to be consistent with each and every child. However, it happens to be the case that Kendall is very strong willed and doesn’t take “no” for an answer . In our household, the dynamic personalities of our children, and their demands on their mother, place a strain on relationships and how they are handled during varying times of the day. Because Kendall is so reluctant to be told otherwise, she almost always gets what she wants because the outcome of her not getting what she wants turns into a meltdown; disrupting the entire household atmosphere. As parents, it’s very difficult and stressful to manage this situation. It’s painful to hear your children say it’s not fair, especially when it has to do with our behavior as parents. I realized that the only real way to deal with it is to just tell them the truth and let them know that they are right: it is not fair.

In the past, I would try to redirect their attention so that their attention on whether something is fair or not, is no longer an issue. Not anymore though – the answer to this statement is “you are correct, and I apologize for my actions”. It’s amazing how forgiving children can be when we are brutally honest with them. We never thought we would be in this situation, but we have become better people because of it.


2 Responses to You are Right, It’s Not Fair

  1. Melissa pierskalla says:

    Thank you for the article. We tell our ten year old son the same thing when he is struggling with his little sister Kallan. I had him read this entry so he knows its not just us.

  2. shirley bidnick says:

    Your post made me smile. The joy of coming to this site and reading the posts is remembering a similar time in Rochelle ‘s and my life. Trying to discipline Rochelle came much later for us than it has for you. At Kendall’s age, Rochelle was still very infant like.

    Eventually a time came when I tried to apply discipline in three area: sleep in own bed, in own room; don’t be disruptive and noisy in public places; don’t hang backwards, head first on the couch, and fall. All my efforts failed. Exasperated, I called in a behavioural expert. He tested and observed.

    He told me Rochelle’s IQ was too low to measure. He reassured me I was doing an excellent job. Finally he explained Rochelle could not be disciplined because she ‘lives in the moment’ and doesn’t understand that changing her behaviour now will result in future rewards. She wants her rewards NOW. She wanted me to sleep with her, take her out of the public place, and engage her in stimulating activities. I needed to disciple myself and change my own behaviour.

    We can say it is ‘not fair’ to have a child with WHS, who has multiple health problems, cannot be disciplined, and will never be an independent, self sufficient adult, or we can say it is ‘different’. ‘Different’ is not bad, it can be good. This is what we need to tell ourselves, our family members, and society, for it to become a reality.

    I have compassion for your situation. I almost drove myself crazy trying to ‘shape’ Rochelle’s behaviour. Giving up and accommodating Rochelle’s needs restored my sanity. It set us on the road to a happy life.

    Great photo. You have a beautiful family.

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