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2 Bumps

What is fairness???

My sister-in-law has been living with us for 2.5 months. My husband and I have 3 kids- 2, 5, 6. She has two boys- 3 and 9.
I want the kids to have the same rules- dividing them into two groups- the 2 and 3 and the 5,6,and 9. So if the 9 yo plays 30 minutes of Wii, the other two get 30 minutes. Bedtime is at 8:30 - so it is up to my SIL to make sure the 9 yo finishes his homework by then. If it is 7:30 and all kids are bathed except the 9 yo, I don't think it is right to let him go outside and play and not the 5 and 6 yo.
She says that life is not fair and my kids need to figure this out. I think she is teaching the 9 yo that he is deserves preferential treatment.
How do I explain the difference between giving all children under one roof one set of rules and teaching children that in real life, bad things happen and success and good things are not a guarantee?? I think they are completely different.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:29 PM on Sep. 25, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (10)
  • I don't think its preferencial. He's simply older. I would think he could play outside with less supervision than a 5 yr old. Not only that, that's a lot of kids in one house. I imagine he would want to get away from all the younger kids every now and then. But for disapline and meal time rules, they do need to be the same for everyone.

    Answer by karamille at 5:34 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • I am sorry, but there is a huge difference in the average 6 and 9 year old. You should be able to tell your 6 year old that there is nothing unfair about different people at different ages being treated differently. It is actually unfair to treat a 9 year old like a 6 year old.
    I think there is more going on. If your are going to coexist, you should learn to allow her to mother her children while you mother yours.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 5:35 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • My view.

    Rules/treatment/expectations change and are based on age.. An older child would have different rules, receive different treatment in some areas, and my expectations of an older child would be different.. I would have different ones for a younger child as well.

    If I had 3 children and one was 15, one 9 and one 2.. I wouldn't have the same expectation, rules, etc.. for the 15 year old that I would have for the 9 or 2 year old.. I wouldn't have the same expectations rules for a 9 year old that I would have for a 2 year old.

    As children get older. Our expectations of them change. The rules change with the expectations.

    Me personally. If I had more than one child, I can't see me having blanket rules/expectations for all of them if they are significant age differences.

    With all of that said though. It is your home. Therefore I believe YOUR rules/expectations are the ones that should be lived by/respected.

    Answer by pixie_trix at 5:41 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • I agree with the above posters. The 9 year old should not have the same rules as a 6 year old. THAT is not fair.

    Answer by layh41407 at 6:14 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • Well . it is your house, you make the rules and there is always a shelter. Sometimes family member make you feel like you owe them something when you put your self and other family members in jeopardy ,at their expense. Direct your sister-inlaw to some resources and send her on her way.

    Answer by Blue1212 at 7:54 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • A 9 year old is able to stay out a little later

    Answer by fryshannon34 at 8:44 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • I think her attitude stinks and she doesn't appear very grateful (you are allowing her to stay with you right?). At the same time, I see her point that it's her kids and she should be the one to set the rules for them. It may not seem "fair" but neither is making HER kids do what YOU want them to do. I would try and sit her down and come up with some kind of compromise (you may need to give a little too). If you can't, then you either need to rethink the living situation or let it, life is not always fair

    Answer by connorsmom1970 at 10:18 PM on Sep. 25, 2010

  • Well for starters she should be going by the rules in your house, bottom line. However I do think it's unfair to lump a nine year old in with 5 and 6 year olds. They have different interests and responsibilities.

    Answer by Liansmommie at 4:25 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • Why make an issue out of this? This is an area I would yield to, and I would tell the little ones that when they are older, they can look forward to the same opportunities.

    Answer by Radarma at 11:38 PM on Sep. 26, 2010

  • I agree with pixie tix.

    Answer by Mom2Just1 at 5:13 PM on Sep. 27, 2010

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