Aibu to not want to take my 3 year old twins out?(25 Posts)
I have three year old twins, one has special needs.
We have these issues:
Refusal to walk - It starts off alright then the non-special needs twin will stop, stand still and refuse to move. After encouragement and talking she may take a few steps then eventually she'll start rolling around on the dirty ground. The one with special needs is in the buggy and the other can ride the buggy board but I am trying to limit this to encourage her to walk.
Moaning - On the bus, maybe there's traffic and it's taking a long time. Then they'll be a big grump then screaming from the non-special needs twin "Get off, I want to get off!" I try to calm her down but it's like she won't listen.
Slapping my hand away and saying No to me - I'm not sure if this is normal or I if I am failing as a parent but I'll say she has to do something and she won't comply she might hit my hand and say no to me in a really ugly loud voice.
I had a very poor upbringing with whacking parents. I don't want to go there but I feel ill equipped to manage the behaviour of my own children or know what normal behaviour from a three year old would be, also how normal parents manage toddlers. I often feel like I'm not in charge and just keeping things ticking over between tantrums.
We have lots of nice things in a day but they can be really horrible. I never had outings, cuddles, good food, so I find it difficult to understand them when they have so much. Also I see other people's children and they behave so much better.
I don't like going out with them because I feel on edge and sometimes I have to keep up a constant babble of songs, stories, talking... just to make it from one destination to another. I don't use my phone for videos or games, I don't want them to have that sort amount of screen time.
I think I can relate to you when you say you feel you are only just keeping things ticking over between tantrums, sometimes 'firefighting' is all you can do for a while !
3 year old twins sound hard! Just keep on doing what ever you are doing till they have another 6/12 months on them and I promise you things will get better. You will either be more practised at handling them or they will have grown up a bit and bit a bit more civilised but it's a hard age, it's not you it's them, honest.
Thanks statetrooperstacey You cheered me up
I can relate too! And only have single 3 year old lol! Cannot imagine twins! Well down you...you sound like you are doing an amazing job and it's so admirable that you are trying to do all this to improve for them the childhood that you did not have. I have the 'fire fighting' situation most days too and often feel I'm 'whinging it' and somehow we get through the day!Total agree with you about the screen time...I used to see people doing it when my 3 year old was a baby and remember thinking I'll never do that!...however...roll on 3 years and I am guilty of it sometimes 😕 I do limit screen time and try to use Apps which are supposed to be a bit educational (who am I kidding 🙄)...other than that my DD is easily distracted by snacks (which probably isn't gr8 either really?!) or colouring in things we use them on the bus or if we out for lunch etc
The walking thing!....omg!!...drives me nuts! What's that's all about?! Even if we are walking to soft play that she loves she still has to have the melt down about walking 🙈😂
You are doing a great job and sound like a great mum. Please don't feel disheartened. I have twins who are 7 now and it's much easier. At 3 it's just about getting through the day. I found having a solid routine really helped. Meals at the same time every day etc.
I also found going to some activities to break up the day helped. Library, story time etc and twins playgroups. Are there any of those near you? Do they have a nursery place?
don't be too hard on yourself. Twins can be really challenging.
Thanks everyone. I guess you have to have the bad days to appreciate the good ones. Today was a nice day.
I don't have twins but have a 3 year old with special needs and an 18 month old and it is HARD! Sounds like you are doing a great job
3 year old twins are bloody hard work, I have twins and I remember.
Ask your health visitor if there is a twins group you can join you will get lots of support there.
Do you still have a double buggy? I would pick my battles about making one of them walk, use the double buggy sometimes.
Praise yourself fir getting out the house! Are you eligible for free nursery? Gives you a break.
Do you have any help from portage for your child with SN? Or maybe Homestart could send you somebody so you could take them out with two pairs of hands a couple of times a week.
Agree with PP about your free nursery hours too. What about putting them in pre-school on different days so you can spend some quality time with each one?
You sound lovely. Twins are hard. Children with SN can be hard. Siblings of children with SN can be hard. You have all three!! Please don't beat yourself up!
Wouldn't outings be easier with a double buggy so they could both be strapped in and you could get where you're going a lot faster? Also a tired child is a grumpy child. I don't have experience of a special needs child but having two DC 13months apart was hard enough and I couldn't have coped without a double buggy. I used it until they were 4&5. (It didn't affect their ability to walk and both were/are very athletic.)
Ah that's nice, pleased you had a nice day. At some point in the (hopefully near) future you will realise the nice days are outweighing the bad and then you can punch the air with joy that the wilderness years are behind you
I can empathise but not advise. I have twins who are almost five and awaiting asd assessment for one. Hold on to the moments that give you joy, there are plenty of them if your not too stressed to see them (wish I could do this more!). You will get there!
The keeping up a constant stream of singing and chat is what I usually do with my nearly 3 year old to get him to walk/on and off buses. It's stressful when you have to get somewhere on time! It helps me to see responding to this as the process of training/teaching my son and not anything I am doing wrong, he's pushing the boundaries and it's annoying but he seems to move through these stages eventually if I am firm. I'm recently finding that the day to day resistance is often overcome with a bit of humour e.g. "If you don't put your shoes on I'll put them on next door's cat", silly stuff like that, or "let's walk up the hill and pretend we are thomas the tank engine pulling some coaches" makes it fun and he usually does what I ask straight away and with a smile, instead of a five minute stand off or me shouting, being stern etc. He told me today to 'go away' but I know he means 'I want you to come here', if I went anywhere he'd be very upset
can't even go to the toilet in peace in reality. My health visitor was very helpful with advice about positive discipline and helped a lot, did a home visit to observe behaviour.
Perhaps your non SN twin is a bit fed up that she has to walk whilst her sibling doesn't? mine were in the double pram long past their peers. Meant I could go faster when I needed to, they could jump in when they were fed up of walking and I could strap them down when one was prone to wandering off.
Two is hard work especially when they're still so little.
It still takes me forever to get mine out of the house (and they're plenty old enough to get themselves ready).
your dd may not have SN in the same way as her brother but with girls things may present differently, so be wary of treating her as if she is so much more able. She may be struggling too
Thanks everyone. I guess it's just the challenging behaviours I find difficult. Like the SN twin hit me today and I find that really difficult not to yell at. We had portage and homestart in the past but they have outgrown that. They also go to nursery some mornings in the week. We're getting along but it often feels like I have the most feral children in the playground. Sigh.
Mine are 7 and NT and I often feel like that. You're not alone!
I think most parents at some point think their dc are more badly behaved than everybody else's that's a perfectly normal response .
"everyone fed, nobody dead" My mantra for single child wrangling up to about 5 years.
Anything else is a bonus!
Three year old twins are hard!
Mine are 9yo now, very well behaved and lots of fun but Year three was very difficult!
The constant stream of stories, conversation and song is exactly what I used to do, don't worry.
In your situation I'd think about switching back to a double buggy for long trips tbh. Your little one won't understand why their sibling doesn't have to walk.
Re discipline. Firm, low voice, with a positive tone first time you are asking for things. You need to sound like you mean it (i.e. No begging or cajoling).
If things aren't going well, firm low voice, firm (not angry) face, get down to their level, lots of eye contact.
Consistency is critical. If they aren't allowed to do something then it's never allowed.
Never, ever, ever give into to tantrums. Ever.
Tantrums breed tantrums.
I rarely shout but my child are well aware if their behaviour is unacceptable. And that's how it is discussed unacceptable (not bad).
Poor behaviour in public leads to me taking the child to the side for a private discussion. It's much easier to do without everyone listening in. On return they have to apologise as appropriate.
Another thing I found useful was to remind them if appropriate behaviour before going in somewhere.
Finally never make a threat you aren't prepared to carry out. If you say "we'll leave if you do that again" then you need to do it.
Don't get discouraged, it's worth it in the end. I would never have believed that my wild three year olds would turn out to be so delightful at 9yo.
I think most parents at some point think their dc are more badly behaved than everybody else's that's a perfectly normal response
However, remember lots of 2 and 3 yr olds have tantrums, or at the very least, 'test the boundaries'. You will make you life a lot easier if you are firmer with her now, than letting her push those boundaries further and further.
When my ds went through a phase of not doing as he was asked when out, I got a double buggy for a while, and he got strapped in after his first warning. He didn't really want to be in it, so learned quicker and we didn't need the buggy for long. It might be worth considering whilst she is going through that phase
We're getting along but it often feels like I have the most feral children in the playground
We've all been there . I was asked to 'have a few months out' of a gym tots class when mine were that age as I just couldn't cope with both of them. If I focussed on getting one on task the other saw a window of opportunity to run riot. I used to think it was because I was a crap parent and my DTs were the worst behaved children in the world. But actually it was perfectly normal, it's Just harder with two.
Keep at it, they will get easier.
The first thing that leapt out to me from your post was the buggy/walking thing. Double buggy!! It was an absolute lifesaver for me (I don't have twins but had theee under four). It's all about survival, and keeping the peace as much as possible imo. I agree that non-sn twin is probably confused and upset that she has to walk when sibling doesn't. She's only three!
It's tough and you are doing a great job
I don't have children myself but I am an aunty to 7 kids. I always feel that 2-3 year olds are the hardest of the bunch. It is a difficult age. Twins would mean three times the trouble because there's two of them and no time left to deal with it.
They generally just grow out of it. Keep yourself sane and keep muddling through.
I feel for you. Neither of my children have been easy going types (DC2 is just about to turn two and I am DREADING the next two years to be honest) and I frequently had days when I felt utterly defeated by endless tantrums and battles.
I used to be genuinely quite scared taking three year old DC1 out without the buggy, because if she refused to walk I didn't know what I was going to do! I was pregnant and had severe SPD so carrying her was not an option. It genuinely used to stress me out so much - anticipating the tantrums as much as experiencing the tantrums.
I agree that a double buggy, assuming you have one, is probably the way to go. Just be easy on yourself
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