6 Ways to Stop Sibling Fighting
Bounce It Back to Them If they disagree with your strategy, asking them what they think would be fair works shockingly well sometimes. When one of my girls came to me insisting that it was her turn to pick what they watch on TV, I said (truthfully) that I didn't know whose turn it was, but that they needed to come up with a solution. (I said this not because I'm such a genius but because I had referee fatigue.) Within a minute, they decided to watch what one girl wanted for half the time, then switch. Bonus: Because it was their rule, they stuck to it, letter and spirit. This works differently but just as well with older kids. "Sometimes they come up with a great idea together, but other times they realize that the situation is, in fact, fair exactly the way it is," says Jacobs of his daughters.
End the Conversation If the protestations continue even after you've explained why something is fair and allowed the aggrieved party to have his say, give yourself the last word. Telling him to SUCK IT UP! isn't ideal, but something along the lines of "You're right, life can be disappointing sometimes; we all hate that" works. It's tempting to give in, but resist if you're able; otherwise, it sends the message that you'll accommodate him if he persists in playing the unfair card. "Something can be fair even if they don't understand it," says Kane.