January 6, 2013

Twin Toddlers and Discipline

I sit down to write this blog after putting the babies down for their nap 15 minutes early for their own survival.  It is days like this when I look back and I wonder, "Where exactly did this fall apart?"  We had a good morning until about 10... then it was down hill for mommy and babies.  Lunches were thrown, tails were pulled, toys were thrown, babies hit each other, and tears were had by all.

Now I put them in bed and I am sitting down with a cup of coffee listening to some music trying to calm down and figure out a better way.

They are 18 months now and to be honest the terrible 2 came a little early for Penny.  3 times this morning she hit me and yelled no at me.  I know this is normal behavior, but it definitely can get under my skin.  She will listen to you generally but she won't be happy about it.  She is definitely in the "throw yourself down and hit and kick anything that is near by" phase of temper tantrums.  They are usually are short burst and are over quickly.  Ben on the other hand completely acts like he can't hear you or has no idea what you are asking him to do.  When you finally take something away or make him stop pulling the cats tail, then it starts.  No where near as intense as Penny's tantrums, but his mind is a steel trap.  He remembers what he was crying about and it can go on for 30 minutes.

So here I am.  All the articles I have read on peaceful parenting and dealing with 18 month old behavior don't seem to factor in that I have 2 of them, and usually when one is acting up the other sees an opportunity to do something they know they are not supposed to do, ie pull the cats tail or climb shelves.  How does one deal with these things while having another baby to contend with.  As soon as I get the hang of this whole twins things they develop farther and I feel like I am at square one again.

My house is baby proofed, so it is generally an area of yes for them.  I try my hardest to always use calm tones with them, remove them from what is causing the problem and explain to them hitting hurts or whatever the case may be.  I'm not sure they understand timeout yet, nor am I positive I want to use it all the time.  Even when I do try it requires so much attention on the offender in timeout that the other one gets into trouble. So what do I do?  I need to figure out something we can all live with.... I just have no idea what that is.  I welcome any suggestions though.



  1. Awww, I have no suggestions for you but I hope someone else reading does. Hugs to you! :)

  2. I promise it will pass. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but it will. I read some great books when my kids were younger, but i can't remember if they pertain to toddlers. (My kids are 16, 12, and 9.) Here are the books:
    1. "How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk"
    2. "Siblings without rivalry"
    3. "Parenting by the Book"

    I found when my kids were little that some good ol' fashioned me time really helped too. It seemed to rejuvinate me. Take some time to pamper you so that you can deal with toddlerhood. :)

  3. Mary, have you looked at the Love & Logic series? I don't know that they specifically address twins, but it is a good, effective "discipline" and parenting series.

  4. No twins, but I have a 3-1/2 year old and an 18 month old, and they tag-team misbehave just like you described (my son, the younger one, has been in timeout twice this morning for biting, a lovely new habit that just started 2 hours ago). All I can say is my parenting motto is "this too shall pass." Some days go a lot worse than others, and while this won't help in the present, I recommend writing it down. You'll get a good laugh a year (or 20) from now. I actually took that advice from my mom, who wrote down one of the worst patenting days she had with my brother when he was 3. We read it when I was about 17, and I can still remember laughing so hard that we cried because of how absurd it all was (my brother wrote the book on being a terrible toddler).

  5. aw mary i feel for you. i obviously only have one right now so i certainly can't give you advice from experience. i hope someone that does have experience is able to help more.
    if you're interested in reading some books i would recommend Unconditional parenting by alfie Kohn and Connection Parenting by pam leo. also, Parent Effectiveness Parenting by thomas gordon. i actually have a million books i could recommend lol.
    i would love to talk more about this with you sometime! slash we need to talk this week anyway! love you! you're doing great! they're lucky to have you as a momma!

  6. i've also heard great things about How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk!

  7. I've also heard good things about the Love and Logic, although, I'm not familiar with it...but I did just start following their FB page.

    Many of the moms in my twins club highly recommend "123 Magic." I just bought it on my Kindle and am working my way through. (I've been journal-ing a bit through it and hope to blog about it down the road.) I am already seeing a big improvement with my 24-month-olds. Still not 'easy,' but I my stress level is much lower lately. (I have been pulling my hair out from frustration and exhaustion as well.) The book does say it is intended for strategies for ages "2-12," but I think the basic ideas could start to work a little before 2? Good luck. I feel your exhaustion for sure!

  8. Hi Mary, I am also a stay at home mom and have 2 1/2 year old twin boys. I totally understand what you are going through! I started giving them time outs at age two and they worked like a charm but recently the charm is all gone :) Not affective at all. I had already heard that time outs never work and never wanted to give it a try but did when nothing else worked! They are rolling on top of each other all day long, throwing things and pulling each others hair and I have no idea how to stop them. I just end up screaming at them and feel like a terrible mother :( I was thinking of giving the toys time out instead of them. It might work hopefully.


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