My 12 month old twins are finally stumping us (pretty good to go a year without really being Stumped, huh?)
They fight over toys. If there are two of the same type of toy, they don't play with it much. The toy can be a little box one wants to sit in, or a book, or a shovel, or anything. For some reason, it just becomes irresistable if one girl is playing with it. The second one comes and takes hold of it, then a struggle ensues with a tug-o-war and shrieks. They look at me as if to ask for me to solve it.
Trouble is, half the time I didn't see who had it first. And I read that "rescuing" or "refereeing" are both unempowering. I should let them work it out unless there is physical violence. Sometimes there is, like shoving.
Man, this is really tough. DH and I have always loved these girls' temperaments, very sweet and loving. It is hard to see them get angry with each other.
What have you done in this situation? Also, they really want 1:1 time much more often. DH is a SAHD though and can only take care of them together all day.
(Identical twins Meredith & Monica born 5/18/02)
I have 2 boys, 10 months apart. They act like twins a lot. First, I don't at all agree that helping the kids figure out good ways of working things out like toy-sharing is unempowering. It's going to be a long time before your girls are old enough to do it on their own so I think it makes sense to teach them what to do now.
Soem of the things I do are that if the boys are hitting each other I take the hitters hand and move it gently over the hittee and say "nice" or "gentle". With toys I suggest that they play with it together or take turns or find soemthing else for one of them.
I don't know why they say that kids should work this out on their own until they're 4 or 5 AND have been taught all the skills necessary. They need help.
Personally, I also would not get into the "who had it first" at any age. My kids will try to pull that and I'll say, "you need to work out a solution that is good for everyone." I always emphasize that whatever solution the kids come up with, everyone has to be happy. We have a zillion toys in this house and craft stuff and whatever else is necessary to have fun. I tell them that they can decide on a good solution (often with my help) or the toy goes into "time out". If the kids can work together to come up with a way of everyone being happy playign with the toy or taking turns or whatever then they can "rescue" the toy from "time out".
Your kids are so young that even any of the talking related things aren't going to help, but you can act as if they're understanding because soon they will. Try to empathize with how they're each feeling and how frustrating it is to share, but since they're not playing with 2 identical toys the toys really aren't the issue, the interaction between them is. Maybe introduce non-toy games (like ring around the rosie) or something where they can play together in contact with each other in a positive way. My boys ADORE playing with each other physically. They'll sort of do a rolling over each other thing. They don't have the language, though, to invite the other so often one just seems to body slam the other, we're working on finding ways for them to cue each other to what htey want.
Geekmom, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I really appreciate it. You make a lot of sense. My daughters are too young to broker agreements and ratify contracts of behavior! LOL
Like you point out, it is not the toys but their relationship with each other that needs my attention now. I like the idea of "nice" and "gentle" - this is just what I do when they pet our cats.
I think I'll try to shut the books for now and use my intuition. Wish us luck!