Eric Speir

Thrive In Your Faith and Family

The One Word We’ve Banned In Our House

My wife and I have effectively banned one word in our house. No, it’s probably not what you’re thinking. It’s not a curse word, but it’s close.

Creative Commons photo by Gareth Simpson

Creative Commons photo by Gareth Simpson

The one word we’ve banned is…


If you have children you’ve probably heard the phrases, “That’s not fair!” or “It’s not fair!”

The reason we’ve banned this word in our house is because our daughters have repeatedly used it when they didn’t like a decision we’ve made or when we let one child do something and not the other one.

We try to be as fair as possible to our children, but it’s not always possible. They have different personalities and there are a few years in age difference between the oldest and the next one. There is also a big maturity gap between them.

My wife and I realized we are only setting them up for failure when we demand that life be fair to them. It sounds bad to say this, but if you’ve been living long enough you know it’s true as well.

We don’t want our children to walk around with a sense of entitlement. There’s nothing worse than being around someone who feels like they are owed something.

Times have changed over the years. It all starts when children are young. In peewee baseball everyone gets a trophy. When I was a child when you had a birthday party you invited your friends over and they got cake and ice cream. Now at birthday parties every child gets a gift. What happened to everyone bringing a gift to celebrate the person having a birthday? (I know I sound cheap!)

When you’re an adult not everyone gets a trophy. Not everyone gets promoted or given opportunities. It’s usually reserved for those who work hard and don’t give up.

I’ve been teaching at the university level for about 8 years now and there’s nothing worse than dealing with a student who demands everything to be fair. Even worse, I’ve met with a few parents over the years when they felt like their son or daughter wasn’t being used to their standards.

It’s sad, because parents who demand this are setting their student up for failure. I want life to be as fair as possible, but I would rather raise a child who knows how to work hard and make something happen.

Question: How do you teach your children about fairness?

About Eric

I'm a pastor, writer and serial encourager. I like to help people to grow in their relationship with God. I live outside of Atlanta, GA. I've written a book, Stubborn Faith: 30 Day Devotional Guide For New Growth. It's available for download on Amazon. Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @ericspeir

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