Twin Rivalry: Tips on Jealousy, Competition & How to Grow Together
Read how our twin mom blogger Leyla Gursakarya deals with twin rivalry between her dichorionic twin girls.
Jealousy is an emotion that can be triggered by anything. I never knew I could ruin someone’s day by giving them the wrong colour drinking cup. Those quarrels are really about everything and at the same time about nothing: who can wear the pink dress, whose jacket can hang on the blue hook and who ‘is’ Elsa from Frozen. It is a healthy competition, but it does sometimes drive me crazy! I think it’s a combination of jealousy and competing for my attention. My twin girls started this healthy competition in my womb. They love each other and seem inseparable, but do argue a lot. They start talking from the moment they open their eyes in the morning, until they fall asleep in the evening. They do everything together; after all, they’re the same age and have the same interests.
Difficult to be separated
As much as my twins play with each other, I encourage them to play separately as well, especially when they are about to have another fight. I can also see a positive change in their behavior when I give them one-on-one time. They find it difficult to be separated, but the older they get the more they become aware of their own identity. This individual attention helps them to cope with separation anxiety and also improves their relationship as twins.
Another discussion on the backseat
Usually, they get sick at the same time. But last week one of them got the chickenpox and her sister not yet. So for the first time she went to school alone and was very proud of herself, whilst her sister enjoyed her time with me at home. Even this morning when her sister was better, she wanted to go alone again! They both got into the car, and the one who went to school said “I sat in your car seat yesterday!” And there we go again, another discussion on the backseat. I have found a great book about twins being jealous, which I read to them before they go to bed. After one of their fights, I remind them how the characters of their book solved the problem. Listening to each other is difficult for toddlers but very important. We need to hear both sides of the story. I also use examples from my own life and how I solve issues with friends, because adults can be jealous too. Only we do not pull each other’s hair out!
Give them time and space
On a sunny afternoon I put their coloring pencils on the table in the garden and told them there was only one piece of paper left. I asked them to think about what we could do. They both agreed to cut the piece of paper in two and share it. They are able to solve difficulties in their lives, only we need to give them time and space. With a little bit help from us, they will grow and develop into great personalities. As parents we make a lot of decisions for our children but what if we let them decide when it’s time to let go of each other or when to learn how to ride a bike. Patience is the key in raising children, especially so with twins! Maybe with some time, space and guidance we can all learn how to grow together in life with more understanding and appreciation.
Tips on dealing with twin rivalry
- Encourage your twins to play separately, especially when they are about to have a fight.
- Give them one-on-one time, even though separating can be hard.
- Read books to them about twins being jealous and the difficulties of sharing, and talk about how the characters in the books solved their issues.
- Use appropriate examples from your own life on how you dealt with feelings of jealousy.
- Give them time and space to solve their own issues.
Please leave a reply to this article and let us know how you handle twin rivalry in your home!