Joyce, an Upper East Side mother of twin 2-year old-boys, is always on her toes. “I’m constantly two steps behind,” she said at a recent meeting of the Manhattan Mother of Twins Club, a support group for parents with multiples. “The boys have two of everything. My husband and I are out-numbered.”
I reminded Joyce her boys did not need equal items, but equal stimulation. And, to rely on powerful twin intuition: let the boys learn to share items between them.
Joyce recalled a day Jake snatched a toy from Scott. Crying ensued. She wished she had two of everything to appease him.
I reminded her their behavior was no different than non-siblings at play: kids give and take all the time, as a way of learning “yours and mine”.
I instructed her to re-direct Scott the next time this occurred. Simply, focus her crying son on a different toy. This would reduce the need to over-duplicate toys at home, and reinforce independence and, of course, sibling sharing.
Joyce realized her craving to soothe both sons got in the way. She chose to observe them “give and receive” and a few weeks later reported:
They love to share. And we’ve stopped buying double!