Twin Jealousy & Sharing Attention: Tips on How to Deal with It
“Mum my battery died, and Elmo really wants to order pizza.”
“We are not having pizza tonight, I’m cooking dinner now.”
To prevent a meltdown on the kitchen floor, I changed the batteries in my daughter’s toy phone. On my way back to the kitchen, I see my son chasing his other sister because she knocked down his Lego empire. I made them stop fighting, rushed back to the kitchen to see my food had burnt, but was happy to hear that my daughter’s sesame street stuffed puppet, Elmo, ordered pizza. Being a mother of twins requires multitasking skills. No question about that! When raising twins, we deal with many dilemmas. To begin with, we face the impossible task of satisfying the needs of two children who need the same kind of attention at the same time.
My twins keep an eye on each other
In the beginning my twins asked for a lot of attention in the area of nutrition and care. As soon as they got older, they started to demand more and more attention from an educational point of view. Giving enough attention to each child is still something I struggle with. My twins constantly keep an eye on each other. Whenever I give them a carrot, they look which one is bigger. When I say “I love you” to one twin, her sister says “but you don’t love me.”
Tips on dealing with twin jealousy
- One-on-one time. Sometimes my girls want to spend time with only me, but they find it difficult to separate from each other at the same time. So I convinced them one would spend a day with me and the other with daddy or a favorite family friend. This way everybody gets to do what they truly want without making compromises.
- Pay attention to the similarities and differences. Same but different. They have the same age and shoe size but are different in character. One is more interested in music and dancing, and the other is more into drawing and painting. We talk about these differences.
- Talk about how to deal with feelings of jealousy. When one of the girls has a high fever, and I have to give her medicine, her sister gets jealous and pretends she has a fever too. When they were smaller, I was able to fool them with a spoon of water. After explaining over and over again that the strawberry-flavored fever reducing meds are not the same as apple juice, they seem to understand better now.
- I let my children settle their own differences. I noticed, when I tried to interfere in their fights, that they became a team forgetting what the fight was about, and I ended up being the enemy. Unless the fight gets physical, I ask them to come up with a solution. This usually works out positively.
Days are long, years are short
It’s true what they say, the days are long but the years are short. There are moments that I am too tired to wash them or brush their hair. But at some point there will be a last time you help your child in the shower or help them put their shoes on. Eventually, they will want to do it on their own. We will certainly miss all these things that makes us tired now. So with this in mind, I do read them bedtime stories as much as I can although I’m tired. To all the struggling twin mothers, you are doing great, and keep in mind, that every phase your child is going through is temporary.
How do you deal with twin jealousy? Please leave a reply and let us know!