SIBLING RIVALRY

The most recent issue of the National Mother of Twins Club magazine had a study published on sibling rivalry. Based on its survey, most parents of twins reported sibling rivalry being most prevalent among twins from ages 2-5. Often it was shown in the form of fighting, jealousy, hitting, shoving, and biting. I can say we already have seen all of those. Most common is fighting over toys or Jeremy or me. If you are attempting one-on-one with one baby it’s not uncommon for the other to throw themselves at you or, if we’re up in a chair, to try to climb in the chair or sit in the floor and throw a tantrum. It’s frustrating, but also makes me realize we do have to work to spend dedicated time with each baby.

On Monday, Grant wasn’t feeling well and went to bed extra early. I closed myself in the nursery with him while we rocked and I could hear Maria happily playing out in the hall with Jeremy. She was cackling and pushing a toy up and down the hall. I was worried she would keep him awake, but he wasn’t disturbed and quickly crashed.

I sat on the couch with Jeremy, enjoying a few minutes of not having to do anything while watching Maria. I figured it would go on for a couple of minutes and she would move on to something else. But I was wrong. For the next 35 minutes she ran laps up and down the hall, laughing and talking all the way. She didn’t get frustrated when she got stuck and never once threw her toy. She just went back and forth, back and forth. Jeremy commented that she never has this opportunity to just have something all to herself. Normally, Grant would interject himself, either by stealing said toy or by just stopping forward momentum by being in the way. But not now; she had it all to herself….and she was thrilled! She eventually tired and was ready for bed, but not without breaking a sweat. Baby Girl might have logged a mile if we had a pedometer on her.

More than anything, this was a reminder that they both need some alone time and while that isn’t always easy to accomplish, we’re going to have to make it a point to give each one time alone, even at this young of an age. They will enjoy it and appreciate each other more when they are reunited. Maybe it’s a special trip to the store with only one or taking advantage of an early bedtime for the other. Whatever it may be, they need to enjoy time as an individual and not always as a twin. While, I can’t imagine life with only one, sometimes each needs to be treated as if they are the only one in the world.

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