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how to communicate with 3.5 year old twin boys without yelling?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have 3.5 year old twin boys and it seems like lately all I do is yell. And I am starting to see very clearly that they are learning from me - their first response to problems is to scream at each other or me.

One of the hardest things for me is when they don't listen to me, or they are constantly talking at the same time, and fighting and just won't stop to listen to me... It drives me insane and I feel so totally powerless and I start to yell. The (one of the) crappy thing is that I KNOW it doesn't work. I KNOW it's not helping anything and just making things worse, but I just feel at my wit's end and don't know what else to do.

How do you get your twins to 1) learn to take turns talking and 2) stop talking and listen when you need them to.

And is it just the age that when I talk to them - trying to explain things - they seem to not hear a single word? I tell them something and then ask if they understood and instead of answering they just tell me something totally random. It feels like beating my head against a wall. Help!
post #2 of 4
I have been there, and it is so hard some days. Sometimes whispering to them helps, because they have to get quiet in order to hear you.
post #3 of 4
Oh, I know how you feel! I always tell people I was never as surprised as the day my girls went to their four-year-old well visit and passed their hearing tests. I was actually almost disappointed because that meant they were just ignoring me all the time.

Some things that work for me occasionally:

- Turning the lights off and on to get their attention
- Singing (often along with the lights)
- Using crazy voices and accents (they love when I do Julie Andrews as Maria or Mary Poppins)
- Taking their hands while I talk so they cannot ignore me

Unfortunately, none of these work all the time, and there are times I just don't have it in me to even try and be playful because it's the 30th time I've had to do so in a day and I'm exhausted and fried. Then I yell like a lunatic. Oh yeah, that'll fix everything.
post #4 of 4
My first response to your post was "you don't"

There are some days that I feel like a fish wife. I grew up in a shouty family and it is a hard habbit to break. What really gets me is when one of my little guys asks me why I am shouting. Sigh.

I find that seperating them, even if it's on either side of me sometimes helps. Putting them back to back also helps because they can't play off each other if they can't see each other then going down to their level one at a time sometimes helps. I also put my hands on my ears and tell them that they are talking to loud and they are hurting my ears. My guys are noise sensative so that really gets their attention. I have also found that a "talking stick" works - only the person holding it can talk and they really seem to respect those rules because they know that they will be heard, so they are more willing to listen to the other. And when all else fails, there's always just walking away and hope that they follow you.

Good luck.
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