Squelch the Scapegoatery

I didn’t do it!”

“It was his fault!”

She told me to!”

Don’t forget the ever-popular stand-by, “It’s not fair!”

As parents of twins, fellow parents—of twins and otherwise—often ask, “How hard is it for you to keep things fair?”

Our answer to questioners, and to our 4th grade twins: we don’t keep things fair.

Life simply isn’t fair…and that isn’t such a horrific thing.

Make no mistake, we relentlessly teach our children the right of equal opportunity, and to always do your best with the chances you are afforded.

Naturally, the results of their efforts may not be commensurate with what they—or we—feel is deserved. In those instances, do we teach complaint—or conceit?

Nope. The true reward is in genuine best effort, regardless of the outcome. We hug our babies when they win. We hug them when they lose. The lesson is letting them actually win…and perish the thought, letting them actually lose.

As adults, we need to role-model resilience—regardless of the perceived “fairness” factor. At the tender age of 10, our twosome now readily point out examples wherein they see room for greater grown-up…well, grown-up-ness. To my—and even their—view, we all need to learn to win, and especially to lose, with greater grace.

Downtown daily, on my three-block Cary Street walk to work, I pass two freshly, and sadly, now-defunct businesses.

Any guesses as to the one I—and the twins—perceive as a “success?”

As humans, we seem to embrace willingly the courageous “I” in risk, but resoundingly reject the “I” in fail. Intellectual honesty mandates we remember that blame always ends with “me.”

Go ahead. Let it consume you. Accept no responsibility. Wallow. Assign accountability elsewhere.

Or maybe—just maybe—consider acknowledging defeat as a temporary state. Assess and learn from mistakes. Pick up useful remnants and move forward. Try and do your best. After all, there’s an “I” smack dab in the middle of WIN.


The exultant mom of now tween twins, Darren and Sarah, Cheryl Lage is a part-time post-producer at the Martin Agency, a freelance writer, author of the bestselling book, Twinspiration: Real-Life Advice from Pregnancy through the First Year (Taylor Trade, c. 2006), and loving wife to her dreamy husband, Scott. Feel free to read their family exploits at Twinfatuation.com .

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