Back in the day when the boys were hard-to-handle and extremely-emotional aged 2 and 4, we were faced with a LOT of fighting between them. They argued and whined about who gets to pick what movie to watch, who gets to be the first one to use ____________ (insert object here), who gets to sit next to Mom at the dinner table. You don’t want to know how ugly it got if we went out to a restaurant! It was an ongoing battle.
Of course, we tried having them take turns, but it quickly became a nightmare trying to remember who last had their turn for each thing, which really only resulted in more fighting.
Our solution was to implement ‘weeks’ because it was so much easier to track. They alternated, and when it was their week, got to choose all the stuff that made sense; the stuff they couldn’t resolve on their own. It was only a short while before D and I didn’t even need to keep track of whose week it was. They managed it all by their little selves.
That was 6 years ago and they have worked it out more peacefully ever since then. Okay, so the fighting to some extent is still a daily issue, but I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would be without this major tool of conflict resolution. It was a fantastic solution that I would highly recommend as a way to save your sanity as a parent.
(And we all know that every bit helps!)