The German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, shares an interesting parable about hedgehogs:
A number of porcupines huddled together for warmth on a cold day in winter; but, as they began to prick one another with their quills, they were obliged to disperse. However the cold drove them together again, when just the same thing happened. At last, after many turns of huddling and dispersing, they discovered that they would be best off by remaining at a little distance from one another.
I see a similar issue with my kids when they play.
They often start by playing separately.
Then, through a mix of boredom with their own game and interest in their sibling’s game, they are drawn together.
It starts off well enough. Then they get closer. And closer.
They become frustrated with their company, and with being forced to play by the other’s rules.
An argument ensues.
They fight. They swear to never play with each other again. They go their separate ways.
And eventually… they huddle back together.