When shouts ring out from one of my children, the other one is usually responsible. Whether it was grabbing a toy, teasing or playing too rough, I try to make the culprit right their wrong. But when chaos ensues and both kids are up in arms, I don't care what happened or who did it...I just want it to stop. So I send them to their respective rooms for a break. They are free to play or read books but it gives them space from one another. It's also a bit of reverse psychology.
My mom used to send my sister and I to our rooms when the going got tough. Our rooms were across the hall from one another and once we both calmed down, we would open our door and wait for the other to do the same. While my mom was downstairs thinking we were quietly playing by ourselves, we would roll marbles to each other, play Simon says or create our own version of sign language. And it worked...being punished for not playing well together and forced to play alone only made us want to play together more.
So as I stood in the hallway outside their doors, I listened for what I knew would come. Dylan coaxed Camryn over to the shared air vent. They could talk and see each other through it. Before long, they were planning their escape, passing things back and forth and having a grand old time. Best of friends again, the unpleasant incident a thing of the past.
Their laughter made me smile to myself and realize just what a smart lady my mom is!!!