Sibling rivalry, fighting, arguing. Oh ,Wow!

I just read a suggestion on how to stop an fight instantaneously. Grab your camera and take a picture of the kids fighting. I haven't tired this but I can't wait to try it, even on teens.

Two boys arguing about who has the biggest piece cut of cake?
One cuts the piece of cake in two, the other chooses which piece he wants first.
Or, alternate who cuts the pieces, the oldest might be the first one the first time you try this.

Two children fighting about who gets to play with a toy first?
Remove the toy from both children.
Explain they have to come up with a solution, by themselves.
Let Mommy know when you have decided  how to work it out, who gets to play with it first and you get it back.

Too young to work it out together? The children are distracted and the toy is removed, gently but quickly and firmly. The oldest one gets to learn the fast rule of "Thou shall not take with force" with the loss of the toy and maybe a time out, and the younger one gets distracted with another item. Minimize the oldest learning resentment towards the younger child by controlling the situation without emotion or favoritism for either child.

The bottom line: it's gonna happen. It is the natural way our children learn to deal with life when it isn't going their way. The trick is to get them to find and learn a positive method of dealing with life's hassles, and to discover the best way to turn any situation into a 'win/win', opposed to savoring domination or victory. Competition is a very healthy thing, and is a invaluable lesson for the loser to accept losing and try again.

For some unknown reason, we three sisters had an ability to handle these issues as they came up. I would give just about anything to go back in time to see how our method evolved, but Mum tells how she would quietly watch from the sidelines as we negotiated and took turns peacefully. The oldest always picked first, next time it was my turn and so on. How we kept track, I have no idea, but we did.

It is soooo easy to let this one slide. It's horrifically tiring to stay on top of the episodes, and so much easier to let them duke it out without your interference. On the bright side, it is a lesson, once truly learned, that pays off in triple fold. Working together to solve a problem is an ability and tool they will use every single day of their lives.

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