Do Your Twins Fight a Lot?

If your multiples are anything like mine, they’re constantly at each other’s throats! It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even leave the room to put in a load of laundry without worrying that one will hurt the other. I believe that twins are especially prone to fighting because they spend so much time together. Kids of different ages might spend time apart in different classes or activities, or out with friends, but children of the same age are thrown together more often. If you and your spouse never got a break from each other, wouldn’t you be at war, too? Familiarity breeds contempt. Therefore, some strategies are needed to ward off the “attacks”:

 

Distraction: When the fists start flying, it’s time to divert their attention. Bring out the box of Legos or Barbies. (You should always keep some toys tucked away for occasions such as this.) Pop in a video they haven’t seen in a while (or save a new one for when they’re fighting). If your twins are of toddler or preschool age, a few rounds of “The Wheels on the Bus” should get their focus off each other.

 

Separation: Get them away from each other! If there are two adults in the house (or an older sibling and an adult), split them up. Each of you can take a twin into a different room. Or put them out of arm’s reach from each other by strapping them into their highchairs and taping some paper to the tray. Get out the washable crayons and let them color.

 

Change Gears: If they’ve worn out “playtime,” switch over to “snacktime” or “outdoor time.” If they’re preoccupied by apple slices or the birds at the bird feeder, they’ll forget about fighting.

 

Enlist Help: If your twins seem to be having a hard time switching out of “fight mode,” sometimes a new companion can help. At times like these, when I’ve run out of ideas to distract my twins, or just don’t have any more patience, I enlist the help of one of my teenagers to give piggyback rides while I take a breather in another room. The twins get very excited about playing with their big brothers and seem to behave because playing with them is a special treat. (If your spouse has been hiding away in the bedroom, it may be time for him or her to take a turn with the kids!)

 

Chances are, you’ll never be able to totally eliminate the fighting, but the techniques above will hopefully bring a little more peace to your day!

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About Susan Heim

Susan M. Heim is an author and editor, specializing in multiples, parenting, women’s and Christian issues. Her books include "Boosting Your Baby's Brain Power"; "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More"; "It’s Twins! Parent-to-Parent Advice from Infancy Through Adolescence"; "Twice the Love: Stories of Inspiration for Families with Twins, Multiples and Singletons"; and, "Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year." Upcoming books include "Chicken Soup for the Soul: All in the Family," "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Women," and "Moms of Multiples' Devotions to Go." Susan's articles and essays have appeared in many books, magazines and Web sites. She is a member of the National Association of Women Writers and the Southeastern Writers Association, and has a degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University. Susan lives with her husband and four sons (two teenagers and twin grade-schoolers) in Florida.