As infants develop into toddlers, they are eager to establish their independence. Yet, if there is anything toddlers are infamous for, it is bad behavior and tantrums. These can be attributed to the fact that they don’t understand boundaries, disappointment and compromise. They can also barely express themselves. Yet, amidst all these chaos, their personalities and behavior take root.
When you have toddler twins, it is possible to give them a uniform blanket treatment. That is the easy way and people will obviously understand. Unfortunately, in doing so, you deny your little ones an opportunity to pan out their individuality. To prevent this, here are tips on how to identify toddler twins behavior, nurture their differing personalities, and nip undesirable situations.
Nurturing their Personalities to Identify Behavior
To identify individual characteristics among your multiples, it is essential that you nurture their personalities. Here is how to achieve this:
1. Treat them as Individuals
One way to get to know your twins is by treating them as individuals and not a set. Start by using different names to refer to them. Other than giving them individuality, having different names offers an easy way for other people to tell them apart. Dressing them differently also offers a way for them to bring out their uniqueness. Once in a while, allow them to pick their outfits. In case their closet is full of matching outfits, try coming up with different outfits by mixing them up.
2. Separate their Toys
Play time is essential for children. Twin toddlers have their own preferences for toys. To encourage independence during play time and accommodate their different needs and tastes, let them own different toys and keep them separately so that they each have separate boxes. From their interaction during play time, whether they are playing together or not, you will pick their likes and interests. These will in a way affect their personalities. You could have different chests for their supplies too.
3. Individual Play Time
Just like it is advisable to have individual arm time when they are newborns, it is also essential that you give the toddlers individual time. Interacting with them on a personal level gives time to bond while also allowing you to identify behavioral patterns. A good example would be to have one remain at home with mum while dad goes shopping with the other. Alternatively, take them to playgroup in alternate days. This is most plausible if you are their primary caregiver and there is no one to help in watching the other twin.
Spending time away from each other helps the toddlers to identify with other individuals on their own. They can easily make friends without relying on their sibling. From this you can pick out who they identify with as well as their personalities. You can continue with this once they start going to school by having them in different classes.
4. Separate their Activities
Building confidence and skills doesn’t always have to be overshadowed by the twins’ competition for attention. While it is okay for them to want to do the same activity, encourage them to also engage in those that don’t involve each other once in a while.
5. Give them their own Space
Having separate bedrooms allows you to customize the space according to each toddler’s likes. They can actually pick out their décor and bedding. This way you can watch their dynamics in owning their space. Where having different bedrooms is not possible, allocate specific areas for each one of them and have them do it.
How to Identify Toddler Twins Behavior
Identical twins share the same genetic makeup. However, this does not stop those around them from telling them apart. Research published in the Science Journal suggests that experiences in life affect the development of the brain. As a result, what the twins become physically and behaviorally depends on the environment and genes. With time, though, twins exhibit personality differences even when they share the same environment. The cause for this is their interaction and interpretation of both shared and non-shared environments. They derive individual experiences even when they are raised in the same home.
Genetically identical twins develop their individuality from their personal interactions with the environment. Their explorative behaviors are individualized and they react different to the exact living space. Some will decide to explore the environment and beyond while others prefer to stick to familiar places.
Personality can help to predict and identify toddler twin behavior. The three common profiles as agreed upon by early development psychologists include:
- The Spirited One: This one is strong, bold, decisive and task-oriented. These toddlers like taking charge, will stand up for what they want, and are capable of rallying troops behind them.
- The Slow-to-Warm Toddler: Often thoughtful and quiet, a child with this personality type requires a lot of time to transition from one activity to another. They are gentle souls and shouldn’t be rushed into doing anything.
- The Easy Child: This one is active and cheerful. They don’t mind new people and situations. Basically, they tolerate change and get along well even in their own company. As a result, it is possible to neglect them.
Identifying and Dealing with Twin Toddlers’ Mis-behaviour
Twin escalation syndrome is a behavioral trait affecting multiples more than other children. It involves an intensification of misbehavior or tantrums often emanating from one twin copying the other. This then cycles back to the first multiple and could results in unbearable mayhem.
To cope with twin escalation behavior, it is essential to identify their personalities so you can learn how to suppress it ahead of time. Some common behavioral issues include:
Toddlers crave for approval and attention. Even when they are multiples, they want to meet this need. If it is not forthcoming, they demand it by misbehaving. At times, they will want to meet the need simultaneously resulting in competition.
Alleviate the acting out by giving ample time to each toddle as opposed to doing stuff with them as a pair always. Have them take turns in one-on-one time so they are aware that their turn is coming. Identify their talents and interests so you can acknowledge and encourage the multiples to actively engage in them.
Twin sibling rivalry is common and can set in as early as in toddlerhood when they are in constant competition. It may manifest through aggression and arguments. The triggers are seeking attention, killing boredom or tiredness.
Channel their excess energy into physical activities such as helping with simple chores and play time. Also prohibit biting, hitting and scratching by introducing consequences for the said actions. Be consistent on the same if you want it to work.
In most cases, the cause of tantrums is obvious. Toddlers will throw a fit when they are tired, bored, or hungry. The secret is to identify the triggers and stay away from them. Avoid instances that will make them vulnerable and less capable of coping.
How to Handle Negative Toddler Behavior
To minimize negative behavior, give the siblings opportunities to explore both shared and individual interests. Being on their own enhances their individuality, which then opens up an opportunity for them to show off their own abilities. Reinforcing that you love them equally also diminishes the competition as they do not have to be envious of each other.
You can stop a situation from escalating by distracting your toddlers. Use something they like such as a toy or play activity. You could also separate the twins so they are physically apart. They will be less likely to react to each other’s behavior when apart.
Composure is also essential in controlling twin escalation syndrome. Once it sets off, try not to be drawn to it. Take some time off the situation and wait out for things to cool off. Let the meltdown takes its natural course and quell itself if the situation allows.
Treating each twin as an individual helps identify twin toddlers behavior. As a result, you can predict how they are likely to react to different situations and avoid triggers to keep them from experiencing meltdowns.