We have ultrasound pix of Baby A (Shane) kicking Baby B (Dylan) in the head. Dylan spent most of his time in the womb trying to swim away. They are now 16 mos (adjusted age). Not much has changed. Whatever Dylan is playing with, Shane immediately takes away. Fortunately, Dylan is very easy-going and will usually just transfer his attention to another toy, but that soon gets taken away too. Another thing – Shane follows Dylan around, pointing to him and trying to say his name (“dee-uh”). It was cute in the beginning, but now he’s either poking him in the eye or smacking him on the head when he does it. And most recently Shane has been running up behind his brother and pushing him down for no reason. And, heaven forbid I pick up and snuggle his brother...suddenly Shane is crying and pulling on my leg.
I’m sure all siblings have these issues, but I’m wondering how other Moms handled it at this age. I remember reading about this phenomenon when I was pregnant and I mostly remember the “experts” saying that, at this age, the best thing to do is let the twins work it out themselves. But it’s hard to stand by and watch Dylan constantly be the underdog. I HAVE noticed that, when the toy is very important to Dylan, he WILL fight for it, but that’s rare. More and more often, I’ve noticed he slips away and plays privately in a corner, behind a door, or in the closet. He seems to enjoy it, but it makes me sad.
So...mamas...what did you do in this situation? Here’s what I’ve tried so far: Shane will often push his brother and then look at me to see my reaction, so I’ve tried scowling and saying “no”, but that doesn’t seem to phase him. I’ve tried re-directing him, but he thinks that’s a game — I calmly take him away, he runs back laughing and does it again, I remove him again, repeat, repeat, repeat. And today I tried just staring off into space whenever he would look at me after doing something mean, so as to not give him a reaction, which was hard. Also, as a proactive measure, I’ve been working on giving them lots of practice with taking turns and reinforcing their good sharing behavior. And, earlier tonight, when Shane took a toy away, I asked him to give it back to Dylan and, when he did, I smiled big and said “thank you”. But then he kept going back and taking it away again so that he could give it back and get my positive reinforcement again. Sigh.
So, suggestions are welcome. Or, if you don’t have any suggestions, maybe you can just tell me, if this happened with YOUR twins, was it just a phase? And, if so, how long did it last? Do I have a long haul ahead of me or just until they reach a certain age or can understand the consequences of their actions? Or should I just brace myself for this to be their lifelong relationship?
Amy â Unschooling my twin boys, born April 2006 (12 weeks early at 2 lbs each). Astrology for Parenting -- helping parents attain authentic and respectful relationships with their children and families.