My boys have grown familiar and know that when I catch them fighting and say, "When you guys fight, who wins?" They would answer "Mummy wins". So nobody gets the toy which they are fighting over -- I would simply take it away. I believe this helps to promote teamwork among the siblings such that they learn to create win-win situations for themselves. It reinforces the idea that they shouldn't be competing against each other, but helping each other. So if they are unable to figure out a way to play amicably with each other, or practise taking turns, then they would both "lose" and not get to play with the particular toy at all.
It can be very tiring to keep intervening in your children's fights and squabbles, which can happen quite often. Ideally, over time, they should learn to manage to resolve their conflict amicably without parental intervention. This of course depends on the respective ages of your children, their level of maturity and even personalities. It's most challenging when the siblings are equally strong-willed and refuse to back down.
My children have truck loads of toys, mostly bought by the grandparents. Yet there are always times when both boys want to play with the same toy at the same time. It's really very strange. I guess the toys seem more fun and interesting when it's "wanted" and fought over. I am unable to comment on girl siblings but it's part of a daily routine that my boys fight and I think it seems to stem from the the more aggressive and perhaps territorial nature of boys. And their egos. Don't underestimate the size of little boys' egos!
When I notice that the boys start to get aggressive, I would tell them firmly to play nice with each other. They know very well that if they cannot find a way to share or take turns, then mummy would take their toys away and nobody gets to play. On good days, one of them would relent and things go on nicely, other days, each would insist his stand and they would break into a fight and I would have to intervene. *inner self screams in frustration*
It would be a matter of investigating what exactly happened, getting the boys to take responsibility of their words and actions. Since they cannot resolve the conflict on their own, then both would lose their right to getting what they want, and mummy is the ultimate winner.
(To be continued)
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