We must hear this a hundred times a day. Its not fair that one child got a good grade and I didn't. Its not fair that so and so got to go to a friends house and I didn't. Its not fair that he got to sit in THAT chair and I don't. He ALWAYS sits there!
When our kids came home from orphanages they had this idea of fair where everything is exactly the same for each kid. If one child ate because they missed dinner because they were elsewhere, then everyone needed to eat, or it wasn't fair. Reasoning that they already ate and this child didn't, and if they ate again they would eat twice and the other only once would not be fair either was useless. It was only fair if everything, for everyone, every time was exactly the same.
Over time as their English improved and their opportunities improved they started to expand their not fair reasoning to include another child SEEMING to have more than they did in any capacity. If a bag of hand me down clothes came and two things fit one child and 3 things fit another, that is not fair. I cant even begin to tell how many times I have heard ITS NOT FAIR!
I tried reasoning and explaining. I tried keeping everything exactly fair, which is impossible. Neither approach worked. EVERYTHING was still unfair, at least as far as they could see. I started taking them out with me one or two at a time to get a gallon of milk, or walk to the mail, or visit the neighbor. It wasn't fair. but I did it anyways. Some outings included a little treat, some didn't. If there was a treat it had to be a secret or else it wouldn't be FAIR and then I wouldn't be able to take them with me and give them treats anymore. Im sure each kid thinks they are the only ones who has treats with mom because they don't talk about it.
I also stopped trying to be fair. I just cant be fair. in most cases its MOSTLY fair but I will not count out rice granules to be exactly fair. They still say it sometimes, its NOT FAIR! and I always say life isn't fair. Sometimes I hear them complain to a sibling about something not fair, and the other child will tell them life is not fair.
Life is NOT fair. why does one child survive an orphanage relatively unscathed and another nearly unable to function? Why do people we love die? Why do bad things happen to good people? its not fair. none of it is. but we do our best to get through the unfairs and enjoy the good times. That's what I am trying to teach my kids. Life is not fair, but we can and should enjoy it anyways.