For the past several weeks the boys have been fighting non-stop. Don't get me wrong- they do have their moments of kindness to each other, but they are few and far between.
I think the worst was yesterday when Keith said Kolbe lost 9 marbles (we use marbles as a reward system and when he fills his jar he gets a toy). Well he has never lost that many, and they were all lost due to being physical with Nickolas. Nickolas definitely eggs him on, but then Kolbe usually loses his patience and pushes him, or hits him, or grabs something from him really rough or like yesterday, but his hands around his neck!
That was the last straw. We decided to not give him 3 marbles at the start of the day, now he has to earn every single one. Also, we designated a box, and no more warnings when he hits or pushes he immediately loses a toy (he's pretty attached to his trains right now so I think this strategy may work). He will then be able to earn the toys back.
I don't know if this will do any good, but I'm really at a loss on what to do. This is such a new experience dealing with how they interact with each other in this way and how to be fair. I never had brothers or even siblings close in age, so I have no experience with this kind of thing.
Most people have been telling me they did that all the time growing up with their siblings and always fought. Hearing the stories are not very promising from a Mom's point of view! ;)