Ep 157: "Hey! That's MINE!"
There’s one slice of pizza left, and all three of your kids want it. One kid argues that he called dibs on it before it even came out of the oven, so it’s definitely his. Another says that since she had track practice today, she’s the hungriest–and therefore it belongs to her. The third declares that the two slices he already ate were wayyyy smaller than the rest, making him the rightful owner of this final piece. Unable to stop bickering over it, they look to you to decide who gets to eat it….but it seems like all three of them are making a pretty good case!
Decisions like this can feel impossible, but as parents, we face them almost everyday. Not only are there battles of ownership between the kids themselves, but you and your teen also likely argue over who owns their phones, the car, their bedroom, and even perhaps their body. (Who should get the final say on blue hair and belly button piercings?) When problems arise, it’s not always easy to distinguish what belongs to who, and that can make life pretty difficult!
This week, we’re talking about the rules of ownership….and what makes them so complicated. Our guests are Michael Heller and James Salzman, authors of the new book Mine!: How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives. In their work as lawyers and law professors, James and Michael have spent a lot of time thinking about possession and what entitles someone to the rights of ownership.
To help us understand how disputes over ownership arise, Michael, James and I are discussing the six rules that people use to argue that they have possession of something. We’re also chatting about why companies think they have the right to sell your data and covering how you can use your ownership position to teach kids important life lessons.