I recently received a reader question, which I have posted below with her permission. The question comes from another twin mom, Vadivu in India, whose twin boys turn two in January.
Dear Leigh, I really admire enviously the way you cheer with your kids. I’ve enjoyed every post of yours and I even shared those with my hubby who never comes into cyber world. At times, it would be quite surprising to know that some activities of Cam and Mason are same like that of Ammu and Arya…
Because I am a full time employee and missing my kids from dawn till 4.30 PM.. I have a small problem with them. Ammu is trying to get closer with Arya and would enjoy being with him. However, Arya shows some commanding character and likely to hurt Ammu if he refuses to obey him I’m so bothered about Arya and he is very young to mend. Leigh, being a perfect mom (as far as I know you/compared to me!), do you have any suggestions for me? This makes me worry a lot about them…
My best wishes for Mason and Cam…
Thank you for your question and all your compliments. My hope is that today you can get some options and help from all the other parents out there who have had similar situations with their children.
Ok – So here is what I understand from your question: it seems as if you work all day, miss you children and then when they are together they fight. It also seems that Arya has a strong personality and you are worried that he will hurt his brother if he doesn’t do what he wants.
Ask The Professional: My first thought would be to ask your Pediatrician. I always like to check with them on things I am struggling with, because they can tell you if this is normal behavior for their age, or if there could be something else underlying the behavior issues. Our Pediatrician is a great resource for information – even if they tell you a helpful book or article to read that could help you with your issue.
Time of Day: From a mother’s point of view I know that at the end of the night my kids get into more fights because they are tired. You are getting home from work at that time of day when my kids start getting grumpy. I am sure after working a very long day you are tired too. I try to put on calm music (like meditation music or classical) and it has really worked for me. Soon the kids start to calm down – I feel it makes a real difference.
Attention: Firstly I think it is amazing that you are working out of the home with twins. Working moms have the pressure to be great at work and then “perfect moms” at home. I think your boys are excited to see you after being away from you all day and probably want ALL of your attention, which can be hard on you. I know if I am on the phone or am blogging the kids will get into a fight to get my attention. I am wondering if this could be some of what is going on?
I think if you can it is very important to just play with each child separately so they can have their special “mommy” time. Or have one help you with cooking supper or doing dishes. My boys really love helping me – this also helps with their need to be independent!
With regards to behaviors – my one son Cameron tends to start a lot of the fights – he will go up to Mason and just grab a toy, causing the fight. Cameron is also the one who was biting Mason. I can normally notice when there is going to be an issue before it happens, but I don’t always get there in time to stop it.
As for sharing, this is a normal issue to be dealing with at this stage. I read in a book that with twins it is good to get them toys they can share andthen also toys that are just theirs, so they each gets one and they don’t need to share. I do sit right with them when this happens and try to tell them to take turns – each gets the toy for a minute or two. If this doesn’t work I take the toy away and give them something else.
When they hurt each other I separate them immediately, “try” to give time out to the one who hurt his brother, and then I give extra attention to the one who was hurt. It’s hard because Cameron just laughs and goes back and does it again. So I am still trying to figure out the best way to fix this situation. Mason and Cameron have such different personalities and it sounds like your twins do too, so what works for one might not work for the other. Does anyone else have any ideas?
Learning Skills: Lastly, even though we are born to be social beings, kids don’t get it right automatically. They learn to play nice by modeling our behaviors or those of their peers. I think as much as you should give your kids individual attention it would really be helpful to have them play together, with you there. This way you can intervene if something happens. You can also say, “Arya, you have to be gentle with your brother, because “hitting/pushing/biting” hurts.
If they have little friends you could have come over that might help too. Both moms need to be aware that at this stage kids are still learning, so there might be some issues but without the issues how will the kids learn?
I have given a lot of information here, but I believe you will find what works for you. It might be something here or something you try yourself. There is no such thing as a perfect mommy! I think we need to keep trying different things over and over and over – eventually we will get it right! OR just as you figure it out the kids move onto a different phase - then we have to start figuring out what works all over again! Just yesterday I was crying because I was so exhausted from lack of sleep and I was grumpy with the kids – so I am definitely not perfect! But you made my day saying that
Remember: Always ask a professional so they can eliminate any underlying problems, be creative in your approach – try many different things, till you find what works. Be sure to give them special alone time but also time together so they can learn how to play nicely.
Oh – one last thing….. shower your boys with love and enjoy every moment because boy time flies!!! Soon they will be off to college and causing another woman some stress
Good luck Mama! Thanks for your question.
Anyone else think of something else for Vadivu?