Children of almost equal age have a tendency to fight over anything and everything to resolve the difference that may creep up amongst them. They are very possessive about their things, may be toys or items of stationary. At any point of time they may or may not need their things but if the other touches them, a fight is bound to start.
The problem will aggravate if they are sharing the room, though having separate space in the same room for everything. It will be better if each child has his separate room where he can keep his things the way he likes but if it is not possible for the parents to provide separate rooms, a temporary partition with a curtain can be made in the room with each child living on his side. This way both will be able to have privacy while being in the same room.
If due to some reason this is also not possible, make rules and strictly follow them. Each child should have a fixed time when he can be alone in the room. After this the other child can enjoy privacy by being alone in the room. When one child is in the room ensure that the other is not interfering for one reason or the other, let the other study in some common place. Ensure that during this time TV or music system is switched off and the child is not disturbed.
In case of a fight do not take side of any child. Be firm to punish the offender. The punishment can be allowing the child not at fault more time in room as compared to the other, and time out for the wrong doer. This may be of some help. Explain to the child that strictly following the schedule will be helpful.
Both the children should be asked to prepare a chart of do and don’ts rule for the room, a child not following this can be asked to write in his own handwriting about not following the rule. Buy identical things for the children and before buying let them select for themselves otherwise you may have to face the fuss created by them.
The parents should encourage the children to play amongst themselves, and help each other even for small things. Set a schedule when one will do something for the other. Even if they go out to play in school or a public park with other children ensure that they are in same team, this way they will develop the habit of helping each other instead of being rivals. Slow and steady counselling will help.