Twins: Will They Ever Play Together Nicely?

A mom of twins told me recently that her two-year-old daughters seemed to fight all the time. Sometimes, they even hurt each other by hitting and scratching. As sibling rivalry had never been an issue with her one older child, she wanted to know if this behavior with her twins was “normal.” I assured her that their battles are completely age-appropriate. When my twins were that age, they fought all the time, even biting and pinching each other. Ten minutes later, they’d be giving each other kisses. Twins may have a special bond, but when it comes to getting along, they’re just like any other siblings.

Often, the fighting doesn’t even make any sense! I can buy two identical toys for my boys, and they’ll still fight over a certain one. No matter how much I tell them, “Look, there are two, so you can both have one,” they still reject one and covet the other. Somehow, one toy just seems more appealing when the other child has it! In a situation like this, it’s a good time to introduce the lesson of taking turns. “Okay,” I’ll say, “Austen can have the toy for ten minutes, and when this timer goes off, it’s Caleb’s turn.” Of course, this didn’t work perfectly at first, but as the boys have matured, they’ve learned to accept this system. Now that they know they will get the promised toy eventually, they’re more willing to wait.

My twins are three-and-a-half now, and the fighting has decreased. There are longer and longer periods of time when they’ll play together nicely, making up “pretend games” with each other. This morning, they were adorable as they taught their stuffed lion how to be a “big boy” by showing him how to use the potty and wash his hands! I know from my experience with my older boys that there will always be fights and arguments over the years, but my twins will also learn to appreciate the fun things they can do together. Emphasize to your twins how fortunate they are to always have someone to play with. It’s just one of the many perks of being a twin!

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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.

Comments

  1. TwinBoysMom says:

    My twins are 5 and they are going into a phase where they “want to be alone”. They always ask me why can’t I be alone? They have seperate rooms and when I get them to have alone time it never fails that they “miss the other one” and end up back together anyway. They can fight like cats and dogs but I believe there will always be that bond between them that will draw them back in.

  2. Susan M. Heim says:

    TwinBoysMom has made an excellent observation. Sometimes twins can have too much togetherness and start to get on each other’s nerves. It’s human nature. A little “alone time” can give them the distance they need and enable them to appreciate having each other once again.

  3. My four year old twins usually play together very well. However there are times when they need some time out from each other – they are very different actually and enjoy their time apart tremendously. But after some time they will ask for eachother…

    I noticed that they played better together and fought a lot less as they got older!