About 1/2 of the time I pick up the girls from school there's some petty dispute happening. Sissy took my idea. Sissy wouldn't let me borrow a pencil. Sissy didn't say anything when someone was mean to me. There's an endless list of possibilities.
Today I looked at both girls as they were battling and said, "That's it. No one speaks until I say so." The girls stared and started to talk. I said, "No one speaks."
At first they were really quiet. The brunette twin and Holly walked in front of me. The blond twin walked about a house behind, dragging her feet and sighing. Four or five houses later the blond twin caught up with Sissy and held her hand. In silent protest they walked together, not speaking to each other.
By the time we walked into the house, the girls were anxious to talk. The brunette twin started telling a story as soon as she crossed the threshold. I said, "Who said you could speak?" She replied, "You said we could talk when we got home."
It has been nearly an hour now since I imposed the silent treatment. They have taken to hand signals and trying to sneak notes back and forth. It's adorable. As soon as they were not able to talk to each other, it was the only thing they wanted to do.
I'm not sure they understood that they needed to stop bickering about silly stuff, but it's time to let them talk to each other again. We'll continue to work on the bigger lesson as needed.