Decisions, Parenting

Decisions? Be Random

The lot puts an end to quarrels and decides between powerful contenders.

Proverbs 18:18 (ESV)

Uneven voting (Here) and taking surveys (Here) improved some parenting decisions. However, I found that versions of drawing straws or casting lots sometimes brought the best decision. Why would randomness do this?

Along the way, I learned that my sons didn’t care about the particular outcome of decisions as much as their bickering indicated. They simply wanted fairness.  Did my choices show equal love or respect or whatever they wanted at that moment? Or did I show favoritism?

At Christmastime, we exchanged inexpensive stocking stuffers with extended family.  However, in our case it was a decorated, brown grocery bag that was stuffed. As hosts, we were the bag decorators. My boys had favorite relatives, and every year, arguments ensued as to who would decorate certain bags.

One afternoon after I had recently re-read Proverbs 18:18, I tested the statement. I put the names of aunts, uncles and cousins in a jar and the boys drew their “lot.” Complaints ceased and peace reigned. I wish I had chosen that strategy years earlier.

How do you discern which sibling arguments are about favoritism?

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