Double Trouble: How to Discipline Twins

Double Trouble: How to Discipline Twins

Raising one child can be challenging as it is, and now imagine having twins -- and taking on double the trouble! Twins are a blessing but can also prove to be a lot of work. Find out how to discipline and raise your twins!

Raising one child is already a hassle, but raising twins is pretty much a nightmare! Sleepless nights, physical and mental exhaustion, as well as a lack of privacy, are just some of the issues any parent can identify with. And all those same issues are doubled when faced with taking care of twins. But just because raising twins is an arduous task doesn’t make it an impossible one.

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Twin escalation syndrome

Double Trouble: How to Discipline Twins

Twin escalation syndrome (TES) is an issue many parents have to deal with. It pretty much refers to the situation whereby twins feed off each other’s behaviour and the poor parents are the ones who suffer at the end. A typical example is when one twin starts crying, the other twin cries even louder, and they start trying to out-cry each other to the point where the parents are practically deaf. Felicia Lim, 22, who has a twin sister agrees, stating that, "When we were little, my twin and I used to compete in everything from grades to sports to music to the extent that other competitors didn't matter to us."

Here are 3 tips on how to handle these parenting woes uniquely associated with raising twins:

Pay attention to the 'good one'

When one of your twins is throwing a tantrum, the common and logical response is to attend to the crying twin. However, parents are often unaware that this behaviour sends a signal to the twins that throwing a tantrum is the best way of getting their parent’s attention. Thus, it is not unusual for both twins to start throwing tantrums in order to gain their parent’s attention.

One way to counter this is to attend to the well-behaved twin and let him or her know you are happy with their behaviour while the other twin is wailing like a banshee. Only attend to the crying twin after attending to the well-behaved one.

Isolate them

Another good way to deal with TES is to separate the twins. When punishing them, such as giving them timeouts, separate the twins or else they will continue feeding off each other’s behaviour even while being punished.

RELATED: Smart ways to discipline your kids at every age

Spend quality time with each of them

Double Trouble: How to Discipline Twins

The thing about twins is that they often feel the need to compete with each other for everything ranging from attention to achievement. This desire to outdo each other is often the root cause of TES. Thus in order to reduce their insecurities, try to reduce their competitive streak by giving the same amount of attention to each of them and by letting them know you will attend to them. Stress the fact that they don’t have to resort to interrupting their sibling to gain your attention. Felicia Lim agrees, stating that, '"Sufficient quality time and attention helps a lot and it also betters the relationship between the twins themselves."

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Written by

Sean Foo

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