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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.