As a parent, it is really important to be fair with kids but it is also important to mean what you say.
I remember when my boys were 4 and 6 and at that age of bickering constantly, I packed up everything in their room except their bed, and 1 book. All their toys were packed into plastic shopping bags and packed into a wardrobe so they could no longer play with ANYTHING! I had threatened for a few months that this would be the result of their actions if they did not stop the constant battle with each other – and mum followed through on her threat!!
They still talk about this even today – it made a lasting impact on them. The lesson that they learned was that mum was serious and would follow through. It made them respect their own items more. Every bag that they earned back for good behaviour was like opening a bag of presents and each individual item was cherished like a long-lost friend. It taught them that there are consequences for their actions and it taught them to negotiate and to not create drama for the sake of drama.
They still fling the occasional insult at each other that is expected with sibling rivalry. But I am pleased to say that although it’s a work in progress, so far, so good. I will keep you posted!!