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HELP!!! Is this what the terrible twos is like?

(5 Posts)
mumsgonemad123 Sun 05-Jun-11 00:05:46

Long post........I have 23 month old twin boys, just 2 weeks off their 2nd birthday and i have just had the toughest week with them EVER. If this is the start of the terrible twos and its going to last a year then God help me.

They are all of a sudden fighting over toys big time, all day long. Even when there are two of the same toy, everything is fought over, snatched from each others hands, etc. In the garden they will push each other off ride ons. There are raging red facing angry. They will also compete for my attention and so if i am giving one a cuddle or sitting one on my knee the other will come over and fuss, they will push each other off my knee. They are also ridiculously clingy and i thought seperation anxiety was supposed to be on the wane by now, but it seems to be at an all time high. For some reason mealtimes have become impossible, not the actual eating of the meal but getting it ready, they just will not let me get a meal ready, they will hang off my legs in the kitchen or scream at the door if i shut it. And i'm not talking about cooking from scratch, often just heating something i prepped the night before.

What i cant figure out is how sudden the change has been. 2 weeks ago things were going pretty smoothly, i was coping fine and could even say i was enjoying most days with them. Yes they did fight over toys and yes the jealousy was there at times but it was manageable and maybe just a few incidents a day. Overnight it has increased massively. I am just dreading the next day with them. I do get out, attent tots groups and do as much as i can with them but you are very limited as to what you can do with 2 year old twins in terms of days out on your own. I cant manage them for example at a playpark as they just run in opposite directions.

I need for them to learn the concepts of sharing and taking turns and to develop a sense of fairness and empathy and i need them to learn it like tommorrow!!! Any ideas, suggestions, advice, stories appreciated. When did your toddlers first get the beginnings of knowing right from wrong etc?????

Masalamama Sun 05-Jun-11 20:30:38

Oh dear, I thought my DD is bad as a toddler but things are getting better from 27 mo onwards. So sorry I don't have twins, but I would highly recommend Dr Christopher Green's Toddler Taming book. It's excellent. I hope things gets better soon.

rattling Tue 07-Jun-11 12:31:09

My boys are 25 months old now, we have plenty of those days (weeks!), but some days (even sometimes weeks) are great still. I find I need to expect a bit more of them as far as understanding - I can tell them I am going to the kitchen (can't mention that I'm making dinner as that is too much for them - I'm off to "feed the cat" alot!), but that I will be back soon. I do have to pop back every minute or so to reiterate. They don't speak much so I tend to underestimate their understanding.

We do loads of work at taking turns, they quite enjoy it. Doesn't help much yet when they are in a mood, but it helps me in that I know they should understand the idea and I can be calmer and firmer.

I agree days out with 2 are very hard - we have a couple of places I can take them in the buggy to release them. DH has been better than me at taking them to playparks - he's taught me now that they can manage, are unlikely to throw themselves off the top of the slide etc, so as long as there is a gate I can see, and probably not too many bigger kids charging around, I now just let them run off to do what they want. Bumps and bangs are increasing, but the only A&E trip so far was a result of getting ready for bed in the house grin

Yesterday I started my toddler training program to get them walking in a direction of my choosing beside the buggy. We did 0.3 miles in 30 minutes! But partly beside a road, no-one was run down or ran off (too far)in the wrong direction, so maybe one day we can all go out together.

Tried practising go and STOP running up and down the hall last night. Go worked, total failure on stopping on command, but much fun.

I have rambled on with very few suggestions to mainly say, I think this is a tough time with 2 - they need to be expanding their horizons at a time when (to my mind) it just isn't safe enough without 1:1 attention. But, I was at twins club yesterday and noticed (about 6 sets of 2ish year olds) that they were all nasty to their twin, but just lovely with each other. I have had nothing but good comments re. sharing and playing from nursery despite the latest game at home being "knock down and pin down".

Sorry, still rambling - very much in the midst of everything you have mentioned here, hoping for some other suggestions.

chutneypig Fri 10-Jun-11 07:06:34

I remember that stage with very little affection! Twins take it to a whole new level. I had to exit many shops in shame due to the sheer viciousness between them in the double.

A lot of it is just gritting your teeth and getting through it. I found the most effective thing was to separate them, still do if they're winding each other up (mine are 4). What my two seemed to value most at that age was attention - so if the dispute was very one sided I tried to ignore the perpetrator and give attention to the one who'd been hit etc. I noticed a big improvement once their speech took off, they could communicate better with each other. They did grasp the idea of sharing at that stage, just their desire got the better of them! But I think keeping reinforcing it does help.

I'd agree with what rattling said. My two can be awful with each other but not to other children, and I've been told by nursery etc. that it's very common. I've had some great accident report forms, you know where they can't name the other child but they've clearly had a pitched battle.

I think it is difficult at this stage because you can't do so much that you would with one. I found softplay a godsend at that stage but was lucky in finding somewhere with a season ticket, else it would have been impossible cost wise. I've recently with mine started saying freeze rather than stop. I think I saw someone on here suggest it - it works a lot better, my two don't hear "stop"! I'm sadly aware I sound like a drill sergeant out and about.

I noticed a constant gradual improvement with mine getting easier and them getting on better. But it doesn't help much when you're in the midst of it. I liked Toddler Taming and it certainly made me feel better, but like all the books it's that much more difficult to institute when you've got it twice over. I guess my top tip is to try and find ways of making yourself feel better - music helped for me.

london11 Sun 12-Jun-11 20:11:06

mumsgonemad are you me?!! My twin boys are 2 in 2 weeks and we have quite suddenly hit the 'terrible 2's'. They are constantly fighting - snatching, shoving, scratching each other, wanting the same toy, both wanting to sit on the same bit of me and hanging off me as soon as I try to get anything done.
T in particular gets raging mad and will throw the nearest thing he can find and come and hit me. He doesnt respond to being told no, if anything he likes the attention even if it is negative. Unfortunately ignoring him doesnt really work either, he will just continue to hit/throw.
I am trying really hard with praising all the good behaviour but it really feels like their isnt alot of it at the moment!
I also struggle with taking them out, they fight in the buggy and want to get out and walk but I darent unless we are in an enclosed park or large field as they literally just run in different directions and will not come back. I cant even answer the front door without one of them running straight out and up the road.
So, no advice for you I'm afraid, I am just taking comfort from the knowledge that I am not alone in the world with 2 year old twins!!

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