This is a common scene.
Two siblings screaming at each other wanting the same thing. That thing could be a toy. Or in my case, a bunch of leaves!
Thinking of getting them to know leaves (or nature) better, I took home two branches of leaves from a park (no, I didn’t pluck them from the tree but I found the leaves on the ground) for my children, J and K.
My good intention turned ugly when two of them fought over the same branch. Both of them were only interested in THAT particular branch.
For some reason, things get more excited for children when they fight over the same thing.
I think you know what I mean.
I resisted acting like what normal parents would do: step in and resolve the fight, once and for all – for heaven’s sake.
No, I didn’t do that. All because I remembered I read somewhere in Siblings Without Rivalry. I put into practice what the book taught:
“When there’s a quarrel or a fight between children, let them solve it ON THEIR OWN!”
As a parent, it’s not wise to interfere. At most, you guide them how to solve the fight and reach an agreement. And walk away. That’s all.
Frankly, I tried this approach many times before but that seemed to be not working.
But it was different this time. I walked away after telling them to solve the “conflict”.
Within seconds, my daughter J came over and told me that the problem was fixed! I was flabbergasted. Naturally I wanted to find out how she did it since K was quite stubborn sometimes.
J told me her secret: “I showed K we both have the same number of leaves as I counted to him. Both of us have 5 leaves each. K is okay with my explanation.”
Surprisingly, K bought her idea and accepted the deal (leaves) even though he can’t count. And they both played with their respective branch for a while that night.
Of course, I was proud because by not interfering in my children’s fight, I teach them how to reach for a common solution – without using force.
When you try this, don’t give up too soon. One day, your kids will learn this skill… just like my daughter.
It was a lesson well worth the money I paid for the book. And this is only the tips of an iceberg. The book contains many more other ideas that are very practical and proven to work.