“Ben did this! Well, Julie did that!”
It’s exhausting, frankly.
There is never a good answer.
Here is an idea: Try the high-ground maneuver to elevate the entire conversation.
After all, if you take away the premise, it might change everything.
Personally, I always try to give choices.
“Do you want to do X or Y?”
Naturally though, I get to pick the choices. 😉
If you have siblings, or you have more than one child of your own, you know kids like to use the “fairness” argument to get whatever their siblings already got. Most parents cave in and try to balance things right away. That’s like arming a child with a powerful persuasion weapon. The kid will trot out the fairness argument at every opportunity. My mother had a different approach. When my siblings or I complained about the unfairness of one thing or another, she would tell us bluntly that “life isn’t fair.” End of story. We were disarmed before the first shot was fired. That method is what I call the High-Ground Maneuver. It takes the debate out of the details—the weeds, I call them—and elevates it to the high ground where there is no disagreement.