Yesterday, as two five year old boys played together at the clinic, it became harder and harder to keep them in the same game and physical location. They had played together well through a game of Trouble (modified rules) and they took turns in a little building project, sitting side-by-side and sometimes giving one another suggestions but near the end of the hour, they were tired of working together. The boys were at opposite sides of the room.
I thought carefully, hoping to help them get unstuck from the pattern of disagreeing. Do you want to go outside and swing together or do you want to sit here and argue about what you are going to do? Our play yard has not been used since last fall but it was a gloriously warm day and I thought they would be eager to get outside. Their eyes lit up at this suggestion and both boys agreed right away. Argue! they shouted. I gave up and said, Come on boys, let's get outta here and swing!