Fairness is not the same as equality.

Earlier this week while travelling for work I had an hour to read a very short book I ordered from Amazon that is about taking care of the needs of the sibling to a special needs child.  I always worry about Jason and how much therapy he’s going to need when he gets older from what he sees and hears and experiences on a day-to-day basis.I cannot even imagine how his mind processes so much of what goes in because we have so much trouble processing it. In this short book they had a section called “Fairness is not the same as equality.” Wow that really made me think. The book was describing that you don’t have to treat the children equally, since truly they are not equal in many ways, but that you always need to be fair. I like that, that is a good reality check. I had something happen like that a few nights ago. We have a new sitter and she is not as familiar with our routine yet. I like when the boys homework that she has done with them is downstairs and in their folders. How could she know that, we haven’t talked about it yet. I like to check their folders so I can see what they are doing, what needs to be done, what do I have to send in money for, etc. You know, parent/school upkeep!! Jason’s teacher sends home corrections on things he has worked on that he either did not complete or did not do correctly. He saves that part of his homework for me, we do the corrections together. So I am putting him to bed and I see his folder sitting on the floor next to the bed. UGH. It’s now 8:45 and I see corrections. I said “why is your folder up  here and you didn’t tell me you had corrections?” He said “I was doing my homework on my bed.” I said “On your bed? You should be doing it at the table downstairs or in the playroom.” So then he said “But Bryan always does his homework on his bed.” Then I did it, I said the wrong thing, “Well Bryan has autism and that’s different.” Bad mommy. He said “that’s not fair”. Luckily I have good recovery and I said, “ok you can do it on your bed but it’s your responsibility to make sure your folder gets downstairs before I get home from work. Deal?” and he said “deal”. Whew, they know, they do, the difference between fairness and equality and it’s so important. Big lesson for me.

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2 thoughts on “Fairness is not the same as equality.

  1. A tremendous lesson to learn. : )

  2. I hear you and it’s always a tough balancing act but it doesn’t have to be fair either. Bryan is older than Jason and an older brother gets to do certain things that the younger brother doesn’t get to do or hasn’t earned yet.

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