To ameliorate is to step in and make a bad situation better. You could try introducing a second lollipop to ameliorate a battle between two toddlers over a single lollipop.

The verb ameliorate comes from the Latin word meliorare, meaning “improve.” Food drives can ameliorate hunger. An air conditioner can ameliorate the discomfort of a stiflingly hot summer day. A sympathy card can ameliorate grief. Family therapy can ameliorate severe sibling rivalry. Anything that can lift a burden or make something better can ameliorate.

Definitions of ameliorate
  1. verb
    make better
    synonyms: amend, better, improve, meliorate
    better, improve, meliorate
    get better
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    aggravate, exacerbate, exasperate, worsen
    make worse
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    alleviate, assuage, palliate, relieve
    provide physical relief, as from pain
    aid, help
    improve the condition of
    regenerate, revitalize
    restore strength
    make better or improve in quality
    build up, develop
    change the use of and make available or usable
    turn around
    improve dramatically
    improve; change for the better
    improve what was old or outdated
    put into a better state
    make improvements or corrections to
    iron out, put right, straighten out
    settle or put right
    make better or more attractive
    bushel, doctor, fix, furbish up, mend, repair, restore, touch on
    restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken
    make changes for improvement in order to remove abuse and injustices
    improve by alteration or correction of errors or defects and put into a better condition
    beautify, embellish, fancify, prettify
    make more beautiful
    improve the cleansing action of
    hone, perfect
    refine or make more perfect or effective
    down, fine-tune, polish, refine
    improve or perfect by pruning or polishing
    distill, make pure, purify, sublimate
    remove impurities from, increase the concentration of, and separate through the process of distillation
    make productive or fruitful
    lift, raise
    invigorate or heighten
    develop further
    give better travel conditions to
    give an education to
    groom, neaten
    care for one's external appearance
    curry, dress, groom
    give a neat appearance to
    cause to feel better
    bring around, cure, heal
    provide a cure for, make healthy again
    comfort, ease
    lessen pain or discomfort; alleviate
    change the plans for the use of (land)
    fill out, round out
    make bigger or better or more complete
    optimise, optimize
    make optimal; get the most out of; use best
    choke, throttle
    reduce the air supply
    bring into an improved condition
    follow up
    increase the effectiveness or success of by further action
    retouch, touch up
    alter so as to produce a more desirable appearance
    make younger or more youthful
    fiddle, tinker
    try to fix or mend
    plug with a substance
    patch, piece
    repair by adding pieces
    repair or mend
    point, repoint
    repair the joints of bricks
    trouble-shoot, troubleshoot
    solve problems
    patch, patch up
    mend by putting a patch on
    dress up, window-dress
    make something appear superficially attractive
    slick up, smarten up, spiff up, spruce, spruce up, titivate, tittivate
    make neat, smart, or trim
    brush up, burnish, polish, polish up, round, round off
    bring to a highly developed, finished, or refined state
    over-refine, overrefine
    refine too much or with excess of subtlety
    rectify, refine
    reduce to a fine, unmixed, or pure state; separate from extraneous matter or cleanse from impurities
    rid of impurities
    feed, fertilise, fertilize
    provide with fertilizers or add nutrients to
    resole, sole
    put a new sole on
    revamp, vamp
    provide (a shoe) with a new vamp
    heel, reheel
    put a new heel on
    establish or develop as a residence
    polish, shine, smooth, smoothen
    make (a surface) shine
    repair by sewing
    benefit, do good
    be beneficial for
    socialise, socialize
    train for a social environment
    groom, prepare, train
    educate for a future role or function
    co-educate, coeducate
    educate persons of both sexes together
    educate in or as if in a school
    civilise, civilize, cultivate, educate, school, train
    teach or refine to be discriminative in taste or judgment
    become, suit
    enhance the appearance of
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  2. verb
    get better
    synonyms: better, improve, meliorate
    amend, better, improve, meliorate
    make better
    see moresee less
    decline, worsen
    grow worse
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    convalesce, recover, recuperate
    get over an illness or shock
    get healthy again
    reform, see the light, straighten out
    change for the better
    see one's performance improve
    pick up, turn around
    improve significantly; go from bad to good
    bounce back, get over, get well
    improve in health
    heal, mend
    heal or recover
    become productive or fruitful
    get better travel conditions
    gain vigor, percolate, perk, perk up, pick up
    gain or regain energy
    snap back
    recover quickly
    form a scab
    skin over
    grow new skin over an injury
    form granulating tissue
    type of:
    change state, turn
    undergo a transformation or a change of position or action
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