You may have assumed because twins are often said to have a closer bond than traditional siblings that arguments wouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately, this is not true. Siblings argue, including twins. Because they are the same age, they are likely to be going through similar life stages, which can increase arguments. The fact that they are the same age can also create competitiveness that leads to fights.
Disagreements between twins are normal.
Understanding that sibling fights are normal is the first step in dealing with the arguments. Your children shouldn’t be punished for disagreeing. Instead, help give them tools they can use to manage conflict on their own. This is a valuable skill that will serve them well throughout their life.
If one child comes to you to tattle on the other, encourage them to find a way to work it out on their own. If they are arguing and you need to intervene, sit them both down to discuss the issue. If the fights turn physical, they may benefit from a cooling-off period before talking out their differences.
Your twins may fight more than you anticipated, but you will probably be surprised at how quickly they return to best friends. With such a strong bond, each knows exactly what they can do to get under the other’s skin. They also know how to make up easily. With a little help from you, they can learn to better manage their emotions.
Be consistent with your twins.
You want to encourage your children to work these issues out on their own. Depending on their age, they may need help from you. It is important to be consistent in how you deal with these arguments. Knowing what to expect from you helps them manage their own emotions.
You may find yourself expecting more out of one of your twins because they seem more mature. You may also find yourself with a short fuse with one child due to past behavior. It is important to treat each disagreement a separate issue. Don’t assume you know what happened. Don’t bring past behavior into this situation.
Listen to both twins without bias.
Parents often feel like they are pulled in many different directions. The day can go by in a blur of activity. Before you know, it is bedtime. Maybe you haven’t had 10 minutes to talk one on one with either child. While this is an unfortunate byproduct of our busy lives, you need to resist when it comes to managing conflict.
Making a blanket decision out of frustration, sending your kids to their room, or yelling will not solve the problem. If your twins are fighting, sit down and ask them what is going on. While the tendency may be to tattle, don’t get drawn in. Listen to each child, and make sure each feels heard. Rather than meting out punishment, talk with them about their behavior toward each other and how they can both improve. Sometimes, just sitting down, taking a deep breath, and reconnecting can solve the problem.
Create opportunities for privacy for the twins.
Indeed, twins are often closely bonded, but they still need privacy. If your twins share a room, make sure there are other areas of the house they can retreat to if they want to be alone. One child may need more privacy than the other. Insist that each respect the other’s request for privacy. Sometimes arguments stem from spending too much time together.
Expand your twin’s social network!
While your twins have the benefit of a readily available playmate, they need a larger social circle. Talk to the school about assigning them to different classes, encourage them to make other friends, and help each to develop their own hobbies. They will still gain all the benefits of their relationship as twins and they will appreciate each other more.