Mothering Forum banner

Twin Battles: What do you do? HELP!

623 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  lexbeach
My b/g twins just turned 10 months on the 23rd, and they seem to be constantly battling over every stinking toy, cup, piece of lint on the floor! Ugh! One picks up a toy, then the other comes over, grabs it, and the screaming, wrestling, and crying begins.

So do you take the toy away from the snatcher and give it back to the one who had it first and offer the snatcher a different toy? Do you just try to comfort the one who got something snatched away and offer them something else? Do you take the toy away, giving both babies a new one? Do you let them tug over it until someone gives up?

HELP! Every few minutes one of these battles occurs, even when there are 2 identical items!

Can't wait to hear advice!
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
I can't wait either. Mine started at about that age and are RELENTLESS in this! Help!

Originally Posted by BaileyBunch
So do you take the toy away from the snatcher and give it back to the one who had it first and offer the snatcher a different toy? Do you just try to comfort the one who got something snatched away and offer them something else? Do you take the toy away, giving both babies a new one? Do you let them tug over it until someone gives up?
Yes. To all of that.
It doesn't work. Nothing works. Nothing. They're 2 1/2 and still at it. Sorry, I'm tired today.

Subbing to maybe get some ideas. It gets REALLY LOUD here sometimes. I also have a biter. And two boys came for voice lessons the other day and spent most of the time hitting each other
: so now that's in the repertoire too, along with pushing and hair pulling and so forth.

I hope that someday they stop. I hope. I hope. I hope.
See less See more
I kind of take a case by case approach, and it varies depending on the developmental stage as well (I use different approaches now (at age 3) than I did at age 1. I honestly don't remember if my two fought over toys that young. I know they didn't start assigning ownership to specific toys (as in splitting up their toys as belonging to one or the other of them) until around age 2 1/2 (which I know is late compared to singletons, don't know how it compares to other multiples) I really noticed it after Christmas this year (they just turned 3 so they were 2 & 9 mo at Christmas), they kept track of who got which Christmas gift (also lots of joint gifts which they're fine with) and that has continued.

As far as fighting over toys, at the younger stages I would generally give it back to whoever had it originally (only exceptions being in a situation where I really needed to avoid a scene & it looked like first kid didn't care that they'd lost it). When possible I'd try to catch them BEFORE the actual grab & then if it wasn't something we had two of we'd sing the ABC song & then trade. That worked REALLY well (& for other transitions as well, everything from we're going to sing ABCs & then get your shoes on to we're going to sing ABCs and then you need to walk because you're too heavy to carry any farther) most of the time. If a toy seemed to be consistently a source of conflict, at the younger ages I might try to sneak it out of circulation for awhile to just avoid the conflicts. But they weren't to the point of understanding "if we fight over a toy we lose it" so I didn't do it specifically for the sake of teaching that lesson.

Now that they're older, yes, sometimes if they're fighting over something I'll warn them (if that toy makes you fight, that toy's going in timeout) & if they keep fighting I'll take it away. If I can determine who was the instigator I'll just remove them from the immediate play area but more & more often there's no way to tell who is at fault so that's when the toy just goes away. Or if one grabs a toy & the other retaliates by biting/hitting/etc. then they both go in timeout. additionally, IMO biting/hitting/etc is NEVER acceptable so even if I don't know what happened prior to it, if someone bites/hits they go straight to timeout or lose a priviledge or toy or SOMETHING. I have no tollerance for violence. I do try to determine if the other kid provoked the attack though in which case both kids get consequences.

Not sure any of this is helpful, the challenges change with different ages, I found 9-12 mo to be an easy stage, 12-18 mo to be really hard, 18 mo - almost 3 was a great phase & then as they approached 3 we started getting into the defiance stuff that is more difficult again (though still not as hard as 12-18 mo was for me). There are lots of variables too, depending on how verbal they are & such.
See less See more
If only there was a simple answer. I have 3yo MZ boys, and they are about 50/50 on fighting/sharing. They are totally inconsistent. Some days it's bloody battles over a keychain or something totally insignificant. Some days they share so nicely my heart hurts. I think it's just a matter of spending so much time together and wanting to define themselves. Or they just want to drive me crazy. At any rate, at 10mos I'd work on distraction unless it gets violent, at which point I'd intervene.

I tell my kids, you can go into your room and hit the pillow or your bed, or the couch (if no one is on it) or the floor -- but people/animals are for hugging and loving and being nice.

I feel like the fighting comes and goes during various developmental milestones.
First of all, yes, the battles will be constant. The trick is to keep your cool and roll with the punches.

Your twins are a little young, but as they get older, they are going to be more apt to imitate you (i.e. house cleaning, folding laundry [actually tossing it out of the basket]).

I find that if one takes a toy, I take the toy and give it back to the other child, and take the instigator with me to help me with housework. In most cases I give them a small spray bottle of water and a washcloth and they plop down to wipe the floor or cabinet doors. The basic jist is distraction.

If they are both fighting and I do not know who started it, the toy goes altogether, I give them a group hug, gently talk with them about not fighting (it never gets through to them but it does diffuse the situation), and divert with a pile of books to pick from. Or again I put them to work, usually putting their decoys (pots, trivets, bowls, spoons) in their designated drawer.

Since your little ones are 10 months, I would simply start with the group hug and softly and briefly acknowledge that they are upset, but they need to play nice. Then divert them to another set of toys and have them choose with you present. Stay with them for about a minute to make sure the fight does not start again. If it does repeat the process. It will take a chunk of your time, but sooner or later it should get through to them. There will always be the occasional fight.
See less See more
Thanks for the responses. It helps just to hear from others who know what I am talking about. Folks always say to me, "Twins, how nice, they will play with and entertain each other." Well, yay, sometimes, but they sure can battle for toys and mommy's attention, too!
See less See more
I really feel like the majority of my parenting these days is managing my twins' relationship with each other. Mostly I find that their behavior is pretty predictible. When they are well-fed and well-rested and have had plenty of attention from me, they will usually play well together for long stretches of time. When they are tired or hungry or I've been somewhat absent (been really sick lately so this has been more the case than usual), they will fight, fight, fight.

If they are ever both involved in a physical fight over a toy, the toy gets put away. But more often lately, their physical fights start over things that have been said between them (can be something as simple as "that's orange." "no, it's yellow." "no, it's orange." TACKLE!!). If they are having a lot of fights, and snacks or quiet reading time don't change the energy, we try to give them some alone time with each of us. Sometimes just spending an hour apart from each other will completely change the energy between them. I can imagine it could be pretty intense to literally spend 24/7 doing all the same things with your twin sibling.

As far as babies fighting, I treated it just like I would if it were my baby and a friend's baby fighting over a toy. Most babies are fairly easily distracted by another exciting toy. I wouldn't worry about the implications of letting the toy-stealer get away with it. It is totally age-appropriate at that point, and they are too little to learn about sharing. Just try to keep everyone happy.

Once they are toddlers, things get a little trickier, and that's when the prevention techniques are really essential (food, sleep, attention). We did end up getting two of most toys, and that helped a lot when they were young toddlers. We also make sure to really point out everytime that they get along well or do something especially friendly for each other, so they are getting positive attention when they're getting along.


See less See more
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.