Like most siblings, our kids usually had a running competition for just about everything.
“I get shotgun.”
“No, I said it first!”
“Can I push the button in the elevator?”
“No, she did it the last time!”
And so on and so forth.
Our solution was that they would take turns having it be their day – their day for everything.
“Whose day is it?’ became a regular question when any conflict came up. The child whose day it was, got to have first choice about anything and everything. If they wanted to push the button to cross the street, sit in the front seat, have the first smoothie, put the books into the library book-drop or choose the video, it was decided by “Whose day is it?”
Any issue that might have been a potential cause for bickering was pre-empted by those four little words.
It might seem like this would promote grasping selfishness, but it was really just the opposite. Sometimes the child whose day it was would disarmingly step aside and generously choose to let the other push the button to cross the street. Even though it was “their day” it was their choice to either push the button or to let the other have that privilege.
They managed the schedule of alternating days, and never seemed to get confused. They even made it a habit to look months ahead on the calendar and see if it would be “their day” on their next birthday. And they made trades so birthdays always fell on their day.
I don’t really know when or how “Whose Day Is It?” ended. Eventually the practice just faded away and became replaced with a sense of order, fair play, and real other-centeredness.