your babies become toddlers they start to realize there's more to the
world than just eating and sleeping. Because twins, triplets, and more
already have a built-in playmate, fighting over toys or just about
anything happens earlier and more often. Twins and other multiples also
learn about sharing much earlier than singleton children do, and, they
actually do quite a bit of sharing voluntarily.
Fighting and bickering over toys and other things usually
begins around the age of 15 months, sometimes earlier. There's usually
an element of jealousy as well as power struggles, teasing, and
attention seeking involved because one thinks that the other always has
something better. Fortunately by the age of three things start to
change and by four, they realize it more fun to have two different
things than two of the same.
1. When to Buy Two (or more)
It's important that each twin or triplet has his or her own
toys and possessions because this forms the basis for learning how to
share. Buying two of the same item is a good idea for things like arts
and crafts supplies, dolls and accessories (e.g. strollers), trucks,
riding-type toys, and tricycles.
Keep in mind these not all of these items have to be
identical. They can be the same style or model but different colors,
although there may be some fighting over colors on occasion!
Toys such as play kitchens, dollhouses, lincoln logs, Legos, or train sets
have multiples pieces so that sharing these sorts of toys is possible.
Let them fight it out or learn how to trade (see below) over small
items such as matchbox cars, books, and puzzles, as long as there are
enough to go around.
2. Teach Them About Trading and Sharing
While insisting on taking turns works great for adults,
children younger than 3 years old don't really understand this concept
very well. Furthermore, it can fuel sibling rivalry by putting you in
the middle by the mere fact that you are taking from one and giving to
another. What they do understand is trading and simplified sharing.
Trading is when the child trades in one toy for another. For
example if Child A wants the toy that Child B has, she must give Child
B her toy or another one. Sharing can be taught in many ways. For
example playing a game of kickball where everyone (mom or dad included)
takes a turn at kicking it. Another example would be having a pretend
tea party where everyone takes a turn pouring tea and passing goodies
around the table.
3. The Art of Distraction
Sometimes distraction or removing the toys is the only method
to stop the fighting. In this case, the best way to handle it is to ask
each child to give you the toy and move on to a different activity.
Take your children outside to play
or to another room in the house. For example if they are playing in
their bedroom, have them go to the playroom or living room and begin a