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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Raising Toddler Twins - Tantrums & How to Handle Them ?
Raising Toddler Twins - Tantrums & How to Handle Them ?
One of the primary complaints about two year olds is their temper tantrums or the terrible twos as they are often referred to. They seem to whine and cry and throw a fit about virtually everything. As a parent. this can be exhausting and often embarrassing. But while your twins are throwing tantrums. they are not just trying to get their own way. they are learning.

Why do your toddler twins have tantrums ?
There are a variety of reasons your twins may be throwing tantrums. In order to deal with how to handle tantrums. you need to first assess what the cause of the tantrum is. Only then can you decide how to handle it. Below are the most common reasons toddlers experience tantrums.

Tired. hungry. bored. or over-stimulated
Your twins are easily upset. especially if they are sitting in a stroller for an extended period of time walking through a shopping mall. The most common reasons your toddlers may throw a temper tantrum are that they are bored or hungry.

If you must go out for extended periods of time. provide a means of release for your twins. Find a place where they can get out of the stroller and run around. say at a fast food restaurant with a play place. Even if it is not lunch or dinner time. buy some cookies and allow them time to relax. Then. when they have run off their energy and put a little snack in their bellies. they will be ready to continue shopping.

If you are not out for a long time and still find your toddlers whining about everything. chances are they are just hungry. Always pack extra snacks when you go out.

Means of expressing feelings
At two years old. your twins have not developed a language which will adequately express every emotion they may be facing. They may still be using a lot of pointing and grunting to show what they want. Often. when your toddler can not get his/her point across to you. it is easier to throw them-selves on the ground and throw a tantrum. A tantrum is also more likely to grab your attention. especially in a crowded store.

Outward reaction to frustration
Since your toddlers are. well -- two. they will experience the inability to complete certain tasks. At this stage in their young lives. it is important for them to try new things. However. the inability to master them will leave them frustrated. Being unable to build a house out of lego. get dressed by themselves. put on a shoe. put a puzzle together. or get their point across will make your toddlers very frustrated. The end result may be a tantrum.

Learning to take control of their own lives
Starting at around 24 months. your twins are developing their own identities. They are testing boundaries and learning to exhibit control over their own lives. Sometimes a tantrum is the result of your twins trying to exhibit control. In a world where everyone tells them what to do. a tantrum can be a way of saying. "hey. this is my life. I want to do what I want." A tantrum may also be an outward manifestation of attention. Your twins simply want you to pay attention to them. so they throw a tantrum.

Monkey see. monkey do
Because you have twins. you have a special problem. The monkey see. monkey do dilemma or sometimes referred to as Twin Escalation Syndrome (TES). Often. when one twin does something. the other will follow suit. This is especially true if the behavior gets a response from the parents. So now instead of one toddler throwing a tantrum. you have two. Usually there is no reason for the second tantrum. just that he wants to do what his twin sibling is doing.

Raising Toddler Twins - How to Handle your Toddlers Tantrums - Part Two !

Now that you understand why your twin toddlers are throwing tantrums. how do you handle it?

Remove the child(ren) from the stimulation causing the tantrum
If possible. take your twins away from the problem. If the tantrum is over a toy. go to a different part of the store. If they are throwing a tantrum because they don't want to eat dinner. remove them from the table and tell them they can return when they are quiet. You can however go on eating. ignoring the crying that may be happening in the other room.

Stay in control
Always stay in control. Avoid yelling or screaming at your little ones. This will only provoke more frustration and anger and worsen the tantrum. You are the adult and you make the decisions. Never let your twins force you to give in.

Take preventive measures
If you know there could be problems. say in the toy aisle. avoid it. Do not go near the toy aisle. Be prepared for any situation that could take added time. Bring books. snacks. and extra juice.
Distract your twins
Sometimes when your twins are in the middle of a tantrum. simply getting them focused on something else can help. One twin is playing with a toy the other wants. Offer the twin who is upset another toy and then sit down and play with him. If your twins throw a tantrum because they want to go to the park and you just don't have time today. distract them by pointing out the trees. an interesting sign. some big truck. etc. By then. you will be way past the park.

Ignore those around you
One of the main reasons parents give in to their children throwing a tantrum is because they are afraid of making a scene in front of other people. Too bad. Try to ignore those around you who are staring. Chances are they are just eager to see how you handle the temper tantrum. Some may even have toddlers and understand. If the situation gets ugly. just leave.

What you should NOT do when your twins throw a tantrum

There are a few self-explanatory things you should never do when your twins throw themselves on the floor and begin a tantrum.

1. Give in
2. Yell or scream
3. Extreme discipline
4. Lose control

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