We all imagined that our twins would be the best of friends all the time. They would play, and hold hands while laughing the whole day. This was obviously an unrealistic expectation. Children argue and they fight. This is how they learn how to navigate relationships and learn how to manage their responses when they are unhappy. The thing with twins though is that they learn navigating relationships earlier than most. It is a wonderful thing to have a buddy your own age and share the same experiences but it is a relationship that like most, you need to learn about each other. Here are our tips on how to help with the twin fights and arguments.
Acknowledge them as individuals. Being a twin can be a blessing and a curse. Many want to be thought of individually rather than belonging to a pair. Remember that your twins are two different little people, with different personalities and different wants. Acknowledge their feelings individually and validate their feelings. The goal is to teach them how to respond to those feelings and emotions safely and constructively. Encourage them as individuals. They are not going to like the same things. Acknowledge and celebrate their difference.
One on one time. One on one time is so important. This is a great way to not only get to know your child and make memories that will last them a lifetime but it allows being the focus without fighting for the spotlight. Set aside a day every two weeks or month for you to hang out one on one with one of your twins. Have you and your partner take turns having a special day. It can be as simple as just taking a walk together or you can plan a whole day with fun activities.
Sharing is a learned skill. For many little ones, sharing is a skill that needs to be fostered and learned. It takes practice. If there is a toy that both children want to play with, set boundaries early on. Each one gets to play with the toy for a set number of minutes and then switch. You can mimic this behavior with your child too. Share a piece of your food with your child and have them share a piece back. Read them books about sharing. Check out Daniel Tiger’s Learn to Share.
Remember that they are learning how to navigate their relationship and how to manage their feelings and emotions. This is not a skill that one is born with. It is one that is learned and practiced. Stay calm and set clear expectations of constructive ways to react when upset and mad.