Teaching “fairness” to preschoolers is one more way to build character

Teaching “fairness” to young children can be accomplished by listening, modeling, and setting boundaries.

“Life isn’t fair!” How many times has someone said this to you? How many times have you said that phrase to the children in your life? Fairness is one of the Six Pillars of Character Education; the other five are “trustworthiness,” “respect,” “responsibility,” “caring” and “citizenship.” Good character traits don’t just happen – they need to be taught and nurtured in children.

Fairness is something that we all want in our daily interactions, and something that all children need to learn. Fairness can mean many things, including taking turns, sharing with others, playing within the rules, listening to others and seeing the many sides of one issue. Here are some suggestions you might want to employ when teaching “fairness” to young children:

Some children’s books that you might want to explore at your local library with your child that include lessons on fairness are: “That’s not fair, Hare!” by Julie Sykes; “Playing the Game” by Kate Petty and Charlotte Firmin; and “It’s Mine by Leo Lionni. Read the stories and discuss if the characters are playing fairly and by the rules. Talk about stories with your children as you read them together.

When you model and teach your child the life skill of “fairness,” you are helping to build character that counts!