Two preschool girls were writing on a chalkboard. Both decided it was time to use the eraser. They each picked up an end of the same eraser, started pulling and demanding that the other one let go. One of the parents closest to the girls told them “You can’t fight over this!”
However, the girls were already fighting and telling them they couldn’t fight didn’t change their behavior. While it’s tempting to simply lay down the law and order kids not to fight, it rarely works. A better approach is to help the girls learn from the situation by saying something like “I see that you both want to use the eraser but there is only one eraser. What can you do to solve this problem?”
A question like this puts solving the problem into the girls’ hands. They may need additional guidance to come up with a solution; however, it’s amazing how often children figure out how to solve the problem without additional help. This is a skill worth developing!