How To Stop Twins From Hitting Each Other
Watching twins bond and play together is the greatest joy of parenting multiples. My heart melts everytime I see A&A interacting, playing and caring for each other. However such cute moments are occasional and what’s not occasional is the fights and squabbles between them for literally everything – be it space, toys or parental attention. .
Interactions between twins is not always sweet and pleasant and that’s completely normal. Their equation is unique and different from typical sibling because both kids here are of the same age. There isn’t any older child who usually knows or understands better. Both the kids are going through the same developmental stages, which can be difficult for a child to understand.
I remember in the first year, A&A would bite each other a lot. While most of the times I would blame it to the ‘teething phase’, there were also more reasons to it. Sometimes they did for attention and sometimes because of an emotional trigger. Infant to toddlerhood is a stage where kids can’t always express their emotions, so they resort to physical communication. Hence hitting, fighting and biting becomes a way of expression. Thankfully A&A’s biting phase didn’t continue for long but then began hitting and fighting. And it still hasn’t stopped even now when they are almost 3.5 year old.
While this impulse to hit or beat each other is normal in kids, they still need to learn a better way to behave and express themselves.
Here are a certain things that I follow to stop twins my from hitting each other:
1.Address Both The Sides – I often address both the sides when my twins hit each other. There is always a reason behind any fight. While I cuddle the child who’s hit and provide him/her instant relief, I ask the child who hit why he/she did so. I often tell them how their action is making other sad(or cry). They mostly fight over toys when they don’t want to share them. One snatches, the other hits. It’s important to acknowledge both the sides and tell how both their actions are related and upsetting the other.
2. Be Proactive :Distract them or separate them away from each other- Intense situations, sometimes, call for separation and it becomes important to move them apart to prevent any physical injury. Last week my daughter was about to hit my son with the toy car she had in her hand, simply because he was crying for it and wasn’t letting her play with it. Thankfully I moved him apart and cuddled him tight (even before he could be hurt). Suddenly both the kids realised the gravity of the situation and went quiet for a few minutes. Moving kids away from each other in such situations suddenly makes them re-think about their actions and it’s severity. Sometimes I also resort to distraction and suddenly bring in a new toy or a game or show them something outside the window just to take their mind off the fight and divert their attention to something more positive.
3. Encourage them to apologize– After every fight or squabble, I encourage both the kids to say sorry, apologize and hug each other. Sometimes they do, sometimes don’t. If they don’t I dont force much at the moment. But I do let them know that if they have hurt the other, they must apologize. If they do, I praise them loud for the positive behavior.
5. Tell them about better and more positive ways to react – We keep saying ‘hitting is bad’, we also tell them why it is bad. But do we tell them how else they can react or express themselves in such situations? If one has snatched the toy, the other should learn to say No or ask him/her to wait, instead of resorting to hitting. Sometimes kids don’t know how to react so it’s best to explain them that hitting isn’t the solution. They can talk or even shout but not hit. And if things don’t work they can seek any elders help too.
5. Encourage turn-taking and sharing – We often play a counting game for turn-taking. If one wants the toy that the other has, he /she has to count till 10 and say ‘please’. The other can play with it till the count goes to 10 and then has to share it with the one asking it. This encourages them to wait for their turn and then share with the other.
6. Read books/tell stories that reiterate hitting is bad- I make the most of the night time reading/story telling and often tell them stories and tales that encourage ‘sharing, caring and playing together. We also read many books on twins (like Playtime for Twins, Bathtime for twins by Ellen Weiss) that tells them how fun being twins are and how they can love and care for each other.
Do you have any tip to add on how to stop twins from hitting each other? Share below if you have something to add to the list. Also feel free to share this post with someone who may find it helpful.