The Cure for “It’s not fair!”


“That’s not fair!” That statement drives me crazy. Of course it’s not fair! No one ever said that was the end goal! That statement is just as useless as saying, “It’s not raining in my yard every day!” Right … that’s not the design, not the expectation. The way to cure the “It’s not fair” mentality of both kids and adults is through creating proper expectation and perspective.

If a child believes things are supposed to be “fair” (according to however they define that term) in a given situation, then any time that standard is not met, they will tend to lean toward being offended, somehow feeling shorted, or mistreated. The key is to define “fair” with the correct expectations and in the framework of the right perspective. If we as parents do not bring clarity in these areas, kids will often default to a “he has one and I don’t have” point of view, which is a natural human tendency regardless of age.

One of the best things I have ever personally done in this area for my own kids is to explain the horrible conditions much of humanity lives in, compared to the unbelievable life standards we have here in the USA. I pull up multiple tear-jerking stories online, most accompanied by heartbreaking pictures about twice a year with my kids, to try and get a pre-emptive strike against the crippling mentality of ingratitude. They find out real quick what “fair” is and is not. It has been a very effective tool. The only goal is to bring clarity concerning their expectation of what they feel they are entitled to … which is food, clothes, and shelter at my house. I want my kids to view anything in addition to that as a blessing … because for the world we live in, it truly is.

I was reading an article this 4th of July weekend that was highlighting the greatness of America. In the article, a man from India who has been trying to get his entire family into the United States for a decade was asked why he was so persistent in his quest. His answer was, “I want to live in a country where the poor people are fat.” We simply do not know what we have in this country.

It is all about shaping perspective and setting expectation.


About Kris Hogan

With a 16-year educational tenure under his belt, Kris Hogan has spent the last nine years working at Grapevine Faith High School in Grapevine, Texas. In addition to sitting on its administrative team, Hogan also pulls double duty as Faith’s head football coach. Hogan also was the subject of Remember Why You Play, a 2008 book by sports columnist and author David Thomas that chronicled the lives, struggles and successes of Coach Hogan and his team. READ MORE→