Jealousy Among Twins. Handling The Green-Eyed Monster.
Jealousy Among Twins. Handling The Green-Eyed Monster.
My gorgeous gals are 21 months, 3 weeks, and 6 days old.
This is about my quick, personal story first, then some coping mechanisms. Honestly, I never really thought about this issue before.
It was my older daughter who has been the jealous one, and the twins were alright, but now it’s kind of becoming an issue: Jealousy among twins.
Not just with toys or you gave one a cup with slightly more juice in it, which by the way one twin will switch on the other to get the one that’s more full, it’s soo funny. I even try and make that fair, but one drinks faster. But I’m talking about jealousy over ME here. Over me and my husband, but it is mostly me. I guess I’m just so irresistible.
Anyway, there is one twin that has always been glued to me. Inside the house anyway. Outside she couldn’t care less. ‘BORN FREE’. But in the house this child has been renting out space on my lap, crying when I put her down, crying when I walk away, holding on to me at every turn…just super clingy. It was alright because it used to be that the other was content, and never clingy at all.
Of course, I always went and picked my other twin up to, (same time), hence my hurting back. But now my ‘jealous twin’ is going for blood if the other tries to come near me and sit on my lap, which lately she wants to do a lot to now. They are good at taking turns, and they seem to understand what that means and what sharing means, but Allie just does NOT want to share her mommy.
See Allie’s new thing is clawing at Annie’s face. They get along and suddenly it’s on. and she’s often scratched, if I don’t stop it quick enough. It’s weird because she used to always be the sweet one and the victim, now the other one is totally harmless. I try picking up the other and showing her so she gets used to the sight, that mommy will pick up one baby and then the other. This little vying for my affections makes me think of what other jealousies are to come? OH MY!
How do you handle jealousy among twins?
1. Always play fair, and try to never play favorites.
It’s normal to be drawn to the lovey, happy baby that can do no wrong, but they both need you. They both need and require ample attention and praise as they grow, and you never want to make either feel like second best. Yes, this is a juggling act, but it must be done. I pondered how a mother of triplets or more handles such predicaments…YIKES!
2. It takes understanding on your part.
Your twins have had to wait for things their whole lives, and will continue to do so for quite awhile longer. With a singleton you can rush to change a diaper, coddle one to bits, feed them lickedy split, and give all your attention to that one child. They don’t have to wait for a thing.
Your twins have had to wait for their bottle to be warmed and ready, for them to get picked up and washed up for bed to, to get their diaper changed as you change the other, and with mom there is only one lap to sit on, and they are going to fight over the primo spot believe you me. In the toddler stage when they can’t yet express their frustrations it might come out in the form of temper tantrums. Be understanding about them.
I don’t scold, yell, or punish. I just kind of look over and say in a low mumble, ‘Ok, you get it all out now.’ I NEVER make a big deal over it or get angry. It’s a form of expression, and well..it happens. As they grow and are able to talk more, this shall pass (for the most part.) Have some understanding with your twins and their behaviors, and do the best you can. Like I always say when everybody wants too much from me at one time, ‘I am not God.’ I do the best I can, and that’s that.
3. Make everything as equal as possible.
This may not always work, because you may have one twin that is extra clingy and not yet ready to share. Some children are just better at these things then others, or are just more independent. In the baby years buying similar or the same little toys helps, especially if you see that it is a really good attention keeper and very much so desired by both twins. There is always jealousy with toys if you throw in 1 new toy and say, ‘here you go’.
Unless it’s relatively inexpensive, I rarely will buy two of the same exact thing but something similar enough that they are pleased with it and both have something interesting and nice. Whatever gets you through it, is what I say. Then there’s you. What you do for one..do for the other. My husband would throw a bottle filled with juice inside of where they play and tell them to share. DUH!
I’m all about teaching them how to share and they are fairly good at it, but no way am I not going to give them each their own drink. I don’t find that fair at all. One gets a cookie, the other does, one gets a lolly pop as a treat, the other does. Even as young as age 1 twins can sense if they are the one getting the short end of the stick, and emotionally it affects them. They might start lashing out, as to them any attention is just that..attention. If I let one do something, I must let the other do it also.
Spread yourself as thick as possible. Teach them to share, but do hand out two of the more important things. I do it at the same time. Make sure both twins feel equally important. If you can, try and occasionally take one twin out at a time for mommy/child time. I think this is really important, just like husbands and wives need their own time to. It lets them know how very special they are.
Praise each twin for their own set of talents and achievements as they get older, and just be patient. Imagine how hard that would have been for you. Also know, it isn’t just your twins, it happens with every set of twins and is normal. Enjoy each child for all that they are, and as they get older the pay off will be great.
In closing, remember your twins might have come into the world together, but they are both separate entities. Even identical twins are two people, and should be thought of and treated as just that. Give them all the love you can, do your very best, and know before you know it, things will get better, and times somewhat easier.
Hope that helps some other twin mamas out there.
Don’t let this face scare you 😀 .