just thought I'd ask a quick question.by b/g twins are 3.5 and they are starting to get a bit physical in their fighting. quite happy to hit/slap each other. and apart from crying to get attention from me it doesn't seem to bother them. they don't hit other kids just each other.
obviously they go into time out etc, but generally speaking they both have to go in at the same time because they both have hit. i have no idea how to deal with it, our whether to 'ignore' it as it does seem like an extension of their closeness
Re: twins fighting
Personally, that isn't something I would ignore. I would do what you are doing. Put them in time out. At 3.5, if after time out, they did it again, I would put them in time out and then separate them for a while. Tell one to play in one room and the other in another.
That said, my boys wrestle all the time. (My g/b twins don't get physical with each other, but my boy twin and his older brother do constantly and my 2.5 year old twins do get physical sometimes also with the influence of their older brothers) To me, wrestling is very different than actually hitting, slapping, or kicking each other. I do let them wrestle some, but when someone actually takes their hand and purposely hits the other (rather than just wrestling around on the floor), I stop them immediately and send whoever it was to their room. I don't tolerate hitting, slapping, biting, kicking or the like.
Re: twins fighting
From my experience with 3 year olds, they sometimes get physical because they are either frustrated about something, or they want attention. Either way, the root cause is that they have some need that's not being met, and it manifests itself with them hitting, because that way, they really get my attention. I give them one warning, and if it doesn't stop right there, I will separate them.
I know it's easy to blow up and get angry at them at that moment, I usually do, but I've found that it's not the most effective strategy. I remember my mom getting so mad at my sister and me when we would fight and she would say that she couldn't stand to see one or both of her kids being hurt, even if it was at the hand of another one. It's a visceral reaction and would usually result in us being even angrier with each other. But if you separate them, then calmly seek to discover what is at the root of the conflict/episode, you can usually diffuse the situation and find that they really want to be together. Usually, one has either been busy with something else and ignoring the other one, who then starts to hit, or I've been busy and didn't pay attention to the signs that they needed something, usually attention. Sometimes, they just see a reaction for a random bump and then think it's hilarious. Those times I need to present them with other options and talk to them about how they would feel if they were the victim.
Kids are ego-centric, for a long, long time, so sometimes it feels like I'm talking to a wall, but then it somehow sinks in. Every day they show further signs of empathy and understanding. I'm starting to ask them to offer suggestions for alternatives, and I couldn't believe it yesterday when my son said he should say "please" when he wanted something his sister was playing with instead of snatching. This would not have happened, even a month ago, if I hadn't been working through this issue in this manner lately.
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