If you have two children or more, you’ll be familiar with siblings fighting over candy, toys, holding your hand, or most anything.
It’s a tug of war that can last till morning come. Or more likely, until you simply can’t take it any longer and you either yell enough, or step in to sort out who gets what. When you do, you’re short-circuiting your children’s ability to find lasting pathways towards a rewarding resolution.
Instead, change the context and you’ll change the outcome, with far less effort on your part. Don’t let it be a battle of equals–exaggerate the power-dynamic and crown one of your children King or Queen for the day. Marshall Rosenberg, founder of Non-Violent Communication, lays this out in one of his pamphlets, and it’s great medicine for sibling rivalry.
On a well-chosen morning, chose one child to be King or Queen for the day. If at any time, the children are given anything from anyone, it’s up to the monarch to decide who gets what. The following day, crown your other child to be the ruler.
Your children will soon learn that if as Queen they take everything for themselves, they will most likely get nothing on the day when their sibling is King. After a week of changing the seat of power, they will have learned a lot about sharing equitably.