"Two children are holding onto the same toy, neither willing to let it go. Emotions begin to run high and one or both children might indicate that they are going to hit the other. Many parents would immediately intervene, pulling them apart and telling them to be nice, but I wonder what then have they learned? I believe in allowing the struggle, so long as no one is being hurt or neither has reached the point where he is past the limit of coping with the situation. Struggle is part of life and how else will our children learn how to struggle and resolve conflict, unless we are willing to tolerate it. If we know the children well and understand their capacity to deal with frustration, carefully observe how the children react. Be ready to intercede, should either child attempt to hit the other. Reflect what is happening. Intervene if either child begins to reach his limit, 'I'm going to separate you now, as it seems like someone may get hurt'."
In Gerber's example, the result was that it was necessary to separate the children, as it may sometimes happen. However, by reacting more slowly, you've done so patiently rather than at the onset of the conflict. You've allowed your child to practice struggle, to experience his feelings and to attempt a resolution. You've also allowed your child the chance to hear your language as you model the appropriate words to say as well as the action that may be needed. With intention in your presence, you've successfully navigated your child's need for your role to shift from careful observer to confident leader.