Monday, April 2, 2012

Disciplining Twins

O boy, we have reached some major terrible twos over here.  Mind you most of the time the twins are well behaved, we have worked on please and thank you and they are very good about using their manners. But lately we have hit some serious twin fighting.  Shoving, hitting, bitting, hair pulling, you name it one of them has done it.  This has been one of my biggest fears of parenting multiples.  It is so hard to explain to two children that are at the same developmental level which is really too young to understand sharing to start with and trying to get them to understand the concept.  If one has a toy that the other decides they want there is no please there is just "I'm going to go grab it".  Which usually results in tears on both sides. 

Ava has an issue with biting which we curbed awhile back after biting her back (say what you must but nothing else worked), my parents did it to my sister and she is a perfectly functioning 23 year old professional.  But now, now she shoves.  Landon, who used to be very reserved has started fighting back by pushing back which I understand but he is 30+ lbs and Ava is like maybe 23 lbs.  He is ALOT stronger than she is. 

We have tried timeouts, but they are still a little young to really grasp the concept of them, and usually they think it is funny.  We have just taken away whichever toy is causing them to fight which results in tears from both.  I am looking for any and all ideas to try and teach them that it is not ok to hit or shove each other.  I am not anti spanking as I was spanked as a child but very very few times and I remember why I was spanked to this day, so I don't really believe it spanking them at this age.  I just need help from my fellow mamas who have dealt with disciplining two or more children.  Even if those children weren't twins, what worked for you with your two year olds?? HELP!


Amber said...

our little girl is only two weeks younger and we are dealing with the same thing-its a tough age for sure.

Miss Megan said...

Geez, I don't think there is any right answer! Our girls are just coming up on 18 months and they are not sharing, hitting, pulling hair, body slamming (I kid you not, and both girls)...
Here's what we are doing...maybe something will work for you?

First - if they are fighting over a toy - whoever had it first gets to keep it...for the next two minutes. After that two minutes is up, that toy goes to the next person to play with for two minutes. Rinse and repeat. (Works about 50% of the time)

If the girls keep fighting over the same toy, the toy goes into "toy time out"...up where neither can reach can stay there all day if we so decide....

We do time out with the girls, but only for one minute increments. AND, they have to do the same negative activity 3 x in a row to get placed into time out. They go into a crib, by themselves, no blankets, toys, stuffed animals, or binkis, and we actually close the door now (because the girls would go in and check on each other and chat with the one that was in time out - nope!)

The other thing that I am trying to instill in them (something I am borrowing from Julia - a fellow blogger) is that when they are mean to each other, I stop them and tell them for example - "hitting is a very ugly thing to do. We show our sister/mom/kitty cat/etc. that we love her by giving her hugs and kisses and gentle touches. Can you show your sister/mom/etc. that you love her?". AND THEY DO! At least 75% of the time. It's beautiful =)

We also have a rule that when the the girls come out of time out that they have to apologize for what they have done and give a hug/kiss to the person/animal/item they were mean to.

It's working for us...kind of. As you've most definitely seen, no one thing works for everyone or works every time! You have to be constantly evolving! Good luck!

PJ said...

We are right there with you. Our twins are 21 months. One of my last few posts is about our issues. If you want to look back, the comments are interesting. We've made some progress since then.

We have one who hits and one who is kind of passive sometimes but at other times if her sister looks at her wrong, she looses all self composure!

We both work and have a private sitter. She does time outs so they know what that is. We do it only if things are crazy out of control. I personally don't think it's developmentally appropriate... BUT, I do think removing the child who is hitting from the situation is a necessary. And most of the time, that child wails for a minute, we give her a passie, and then she's ok.

Now on the toy thieving thing, whoever had the toy first gets to keep it. Chances are, the other child only really wants it because her sister has it anyway. Sometimes we say, "Can you share?" and that works.

My opinion, it's all trial and error. The thing is, having a bunch of tricks up your sleeve and finding one that works for YOU.

It's so hard...

Anonymous said...

please let me know when you find the answer, my twins are now 22 months and yes fighting has got really bad, no toys can be shared, mummy can't be shared, they push each other if I hug one of them, biting, hitting, pushing the whole lot. I now but double of every toy that's the only way and I try to do something individually with them but nothing is helping, time out they are not getting to concept, firmly saying no, spanking I would never do that either, stickers too young, ignoring weirdly sometimes works. I'm surprised how sweet they are with their baby brother, they never push or hurt him,just each other. good luck xxx

angelaluvnlife said...

Haha my baby boy is 2 and 1/2 and terrible two's are sooo much fun! :) Especially with boys I have noticed a huge difference. I always thought my oldest was active (leilani a girl) and they told me oh boys are so much more active, but never understood what they meant until I had a boy! It is soooo different. I am sure having both of them you can notice that hugely. Haha but girls are still hard in their own ways wait till they are 3 and 4 I think the drama divas come out :) So something to look forward to at all stages since you have both haha LOL