"...so in the course of asking from youngest to oldest their account of what happened, do their accounts factor in the consequences they receive? Because all of them are disrupting the family feeling and not communicating well with each other, so because of that they earn a consequence. But what if one was more a victim and one was more of a perpetrator (based on what you can deduct from their stories)? I guess I am wondering if there is a purpose to hearing their stories other than letting them feel heard and calm down, or if the content of their stories really affects what consequences they receive, since they were all part of the argument and thus not communicating well. Does that make sense? I'm wondering if their account can talk you out of a consequence or not. Thanks again!"
If, after hearing the accounts, they are all at fault or all weren't communicating well, then they all will earn negative consequences. But, if after hearing the accounts, you feel one child was instigating the whole thing and the others were just victims, then only the child that actually chose wrong earns negative consequences. I often find that one child starts it, and then the others end up choosing wrong somewhere along the way too because their emotions get the better of them. In cases like this, the instigator earns the largest consequence, and the others smaller or sometimes just problem solving practice. The most important thing is that they practice handling the situation correctly. We all need practice doing things the right way in order to make the right way a habit and a normal thought process.