How do you deal With the fighting? My babes have started fighting over everything. Everything that kaylee has brad has to take from her. And then she gets mad and start yelling at him (it's actually comical to watch). Most of the time kaylee will walk away so brad can't get the toy. But sometimes he sneaks up on her and they literally tug of war over the toy. My question is do I interfer? Should I take the toy away so neither can have it or do I let them fight it out?
I believe that at that age, we did our best to redirect both to something different because they are so easy to distract with other toys. Now, we take turns and we are emphasize whose turn it is. The girls do pretty well with that concept with reminders. They still try to take toys from each other though.
On a side note, I am so glad that my girls do not bite each other. However, other kids bite them at daycare (maybe that is why they don't bite each other?). The girls third day back to daycare after summer vacation = two bites on Sarafina. Really? I let the director know about it and asked them to please make sure they are supervising all of the kids their age. I know it can happen fast, but I am pretty sure we have reached double digits between both girls in the last year. I just don't think that is acceptable. It is not always the same kid biting them either. Honestly, I am about to ask that they move my girls with the older kids. At least the older ones won't bite, right? (and the girls are almost 3).
We're starting to get the fights here but my son is a billion times stronger than my daughter, so he laughs in her face if she tries to take something but she shrieks when it's the other way around.
I'd be mad about the daycare biting, too. There are a set of 1-year-old twins in our playgroup that are super into biting, the girl, especially. One day she left big bite marks on her brother's face, actually drew blood on his shoulder, and the mom then caught her pulling her brother's lip out to bite it. So yeah, I think it happens crazy fast. But still, especially since yours aren't biters, I'd be upset.
Brad is Way Stronger then Kay so she gets so frustrated and he thinks it extremely funny! I hate interfering though because then I feel Kay will never stick up for herself.
I'm scared brad will be a biter. He's never bitten anyone but when he's overtired and cranky he'll bite blankets or stuffed toys and a few times he's bitten my pant leg and gotten skin (I really don't think him actually biting me was intentional but it still hurt). I just hope he's not that bully kid that bites and hits everyone (because right now he loves to hit his sister).
In my opinion, babies younger than 18 months really don't have the developmental skills to resolve such issues themselves. I would definitely intervene. I still intervene with my girls. I help them to learn to take turns and say sorry when they are mean to each other. I try to model ways that they can solve their problem by themselves, but it is important to remember that young kids (younger than 3 or 4) are very focused on themselves and cannot really take the view of others very well. They can express some empathy, but it is hard to understand that you should allow another child to play with the toy that you really want to play with yourself. They also lack impulse control and have a short attention span, hence the reason that they are active and move from toy to toy (Oooh, that truck is fun...wait a red apple, now a cute snake). This is also the reason for hitting, biting, etc.. Lack of adequate language and poor impulse control. I would say that babies that bite or hit are not really bulllies, especially before age 3. They just cannot communicate their needs or wants at that point. Good luck navigating the sibling rivalry. I find it really hard because I was an only child. I hate it when my girls fight with each other.
Oh, and I definitely think hitting, hair pulling, etc. needs to be met with a very firm tone and letting that child know that it is not acceptable behavior. And...I think that it is okay to start that now rather than later. It is hard with twins, I think. Sometimes, I am so busy getting dinner ready or washing dishes, etc.. that I find I missed an interaction. I have started using time outs and I need to be more consistent. Keira is a strong-willed child and I must parent her differently than the other two. She needs very firm guidance and I have to really assert myself to let her know that I am the boss. So frustrating. Although, she is not my aggressive one, surprisingly. Sarafina is the one who hits, pushes, and pulls hair. GRRR!!!
Oh, and I do make my girls say sorry. I don't care if they mean it or not. I want it to be a good habit. Just like please and thank you, my kids will say sorry if they do something to someone else, regardless of whether it was an accident or on purpose. I have seen a lot of parenting advice lately that says not to force kids to say they are sorry because they don't mean it. I know I might sound crazy, but I don't care if you mean it or not when you are two years old!!! If you don't instill expectations for behavior when kids are really little, they will not use or understand the need for it when they are older.
With all that being said, I have found that parenting twins is really hard. I am not sure if it is just that my DS was really easy or if it is because there are two the same age, but it is a daily struggle and I am often left feeling so exhausted that I want vacation days from parenting!
We are definitely on the hitting train here, though it's more of a "you're in my way" thing than a toy thing. Spark definitely pushes Silas and hits him a lot more than he does to her. Silas only bites when he's REALLY upset. When they do it, I take their hand (the one they hit with) or touch Silas's mouth, and tell them "no hitting"/biting. Sometimes if Spark does something really bad to Silas, Robb or I will sit her down and look her in the eye and ask her if she knows what she did was wrong. She can usually tell that what she did was wrong just by us sitting her down and talking to her in a serious tone. But she's too young to know or remember not to do it again, so I don't expect much to come from punishment.
Mel, that's interesting, what you said about saying sorry. Personally, I would like to wait until they know what sorry means, so that they're not just saying sorry to be done with the situation. (That sounds like something my kids would do!) But maybe by making they say sorry, they are associating it with the situation at hand? I'm not sure.
I know it is against the more popular attachment/positive parenting theories out there, but I firmly believe that good manners are habits. The understanding and the whys come later. I believe that treating your kids with respect and expecting the same from them is important. It is not okay to hit other people and if we do, we need to apologize. I think it is important that kids learn that we all do things that we are not proud of sometimes, and we need to apologize to the people we have hurt. I apologize to my kids if I yell because it was not good behavior on my part. Honestly, I think Sarafina already understands the concept of saying sorry. She does it spontaneously now when she knows that what she did hurt someone else. I am not sure that would have happened if I had waited until I thought she could grasp the concept. Does that make sense? We all have to decide what behaviors we want to reinforce with our kids though, and at what age. All of our kids are different and all develop at different rates. What is okay for one family or one child, may not really work with another family or child.
We're big on manners too. It's just seems hard right now because we tell brad no and take him away from the toys/sister to make him realize if you are bad, you lose things, but he just smiles! He's not scared if either of us. Every time we say no, I swear he tests us to see how far he can go, with this big smile on his face!