Tips to Help Teach Fairness
Fairness is not favoring any one person above another and it allows everyone involved an equal opportunity to succeed. Teaching fairness to your children is important because it ensures that your children are working to treat people equally, honestly and respectfully.
Here are some tips to help teach fairness:
1. Set an Example
- Perhaps the most important activity you can do with your children to promote honesty and fairness is to tell them to do as you do.
- Kids love to copy their parents, and this is a good way to let them do it.
- The trick is you must act appropriately on your own in order for it to work.
2. Post Rules
- Make a rules poster with your child.
- Discuss the rules that you want your child to live by regarding fairness and honesty.
- You can use pictures that demonstrate these qualities or spell it out with cut-out letters and glue them on a poster that your child helps to decorate.
- Once your poster is finished, put it on the front of the refrigerator, or on their bedroom wall, and go over the rules every day or so to reinforce them.
- Role-playing is a good opportunity to teach kids about fairness and honesty.
- Parents can really drive the point home by working together to come up with a short skit and performing it for the child.
- They'll be entertained and will pay close attention to the message. Similar skits can be done with puppets if both parents are not available.
- Write dialogue that puts you, or the puppet, in a situation where you must make a decision on what is right to do. Maybe it’s two people at a party wanting to play with the same toy. Figure out a diplomatic way to share the toy or talk about taking turns to demonstrate fairness.
Here are some activities to help teach fairness:
- Write this quote on the board: “It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt~
- Discuss with your child the meaning of this quote by a former First Lady who dedicated her life to improving the quality of people’s lives around the world.
- Have your child brainstorm situations they see as unfair and then come up with some solutions together.
- If time permits, help your child write their own quote about justice and fairness to post on the fridge. For example, “Always be fair and square”.
The Fair Eggs-Periment
- Clear drinking glass filled with one cup of water
- Fresh egg
- ¼ Cup Salt
- Carefully place the egg in the glass of water. Tell your kids that the egg (You may want to give it a name) represents someone who is not being treated fairly. The egg sinking to the bottom represents how someone who is left out or mistreated would feel - sad, depressed, defeated, unappreciated, and unloved.
- Remove the egg from the water and set it aside.
- Add salt to the water one tablespoon at a time. Stir in each spoonful and explain that the salt represents different ways they can show fairness towards others. Ask your child to give examples of showing fairness (Following the rules when playing a game, taking turns, sharing, treating others with honesty and respect, taking action to help when someone is being treated unfairly, etc).
- After you have added all of the salt, put the egg back in the water and it will now float!
- Explain that now the egg is being supported with kindness and “held up” by the fairness and acceptance of others.
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Always remember, the best way to teach your child fairness is be a good role model and teach by example.