Fair Doesn't Always Mean Equal

by Kelli Dennis with Heather Trent Beers

I’d had enough of “That’s not fair!” It was time to bake a cake—carrot, my three kids’ favorite.

“We’ll all help, and then we’ll all eat a piece because that’s fair, right?”

The kids grinned and nodded.

We gathered our ingredients. I read the recipe. Aubree measured two cups of flour. Cody measured two cups of sugar. Tyler measured two cups of shredded carrots. Next was one-half teaspoon baking powder.

“That’s not fair,” I said. “We should use two cups.”

The kids’ eyes widened. “Won’t that ruin our cake?”

I shrugged. “I’m just trying to be fair.” So in went two cups of everything else: cinnamon, cooking oil, chopped walnuts and raisins. Tyler, who has a sensitive stomach, turned a little green when we added the eggs. After the cake was baked, I cut four equal pieces.

Instead of digging in, the kids hung their heads and clamped shut their mouths.

“Fair doesn’t always mean ‘equal,’ ” I said. “Fair is what’s right and good for each person.” The kids nodded.

It was an expensive lesson—but well worth it.

Favorites

To Know and Be Known

To Know and Be Known

Vulnerability builds trust & empathy in marriage

The Importance of Babbling

The Importance of Babbling

The connection between sound and speech

Do Your Kids Have a Right to Privacy?

Do Your Kids Have a Right to Privacy?

Their rights vs. your responsibility

Book Reviews for Parents

Book Reviews for Parents

Read our teen and tween book reviews for parents.

Thriving Family Archives

Thriving Family Archives

Articles from the magazine and the website

Taking the Plunge

read more >>