06 October 2012

Genius Parenting Tip # 367

So, when your kids are little (or big), they fight.  They also share.  We split a lot of things around here.  One graham cracker left?  Split it.  A bowl full of popcorn?  Divide it among you.  One third of mom's lukewarm coke remains?  Sure - everyone take one sip, and make sure Collins gets some! 

Well, at lunch today, I was reminded of a genius parenting tip that someone, somewhere passed down to me. 
I don't know who.  It may have been my Mama. It may have been a dear friend who may see this and rightfully demand credit.  It may have been a random woman in the grocery store. 

I honestly cannot remember.   All I remember is being dumbstruck at the simple brilliance.  Why didn't I think of that?  Who knows. 

Regardless, here we go. 

We all had leftover poached pears with our lunch. 
Collins didn't like his.  His brother and sister were both coveting it. 

So, how to split fairly? 
Someone will get a bigger piece.  Unless you get a ruler, bigger pieces just happen.  And one response to their complaining about being slighted is to say, "Get a life."  And we do a lot of that.  But why make the kid feel like his life has been less than fair today if it's easily and joyfully avoided?  Right.  No reason.
We have plenty of life isn't fair moments.  We don't need to add poached pears to the pile.  

So, brilliance cometh like manna in the wilderness.  

One child breaks it in half.....
 and the other picks which half he wants. 

Isn't that brilliant?  Simple and brilliant. 
It entirely eliminates the "I want the bigger piece" obnoxiousness.

The person breaking has every incentive to actually break it as close to half as possible - because he knows, in all likelihood, he'll be on the receiving end of the less desirable half.  

If he does a bad job, he's only done himself a bad turn. 

It's pretty great.  Pretty great, I tell you. 

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