The very nature of having twins requires a ton of your effort. Twins are exhausting. As they grow, the challenges change but can still be overwhelming.
If you find yourself losing your temper and being short on patience with your twinados, you’re not alone.
Having children can bring out the best and worst in parents. How we choose to react to our children is the challenge we face each day.
When your children do something that drives you crazy, here are some ways to be patient with your twins:
Age Appropriate Behavior
When something goes wrong, remember how old your twins are. Remember where they are maturity-wise. Odds are what they did to make you mad is actually quite normal for their age (but still frustrating to watch as an adult).
Remember the last time you went to the store and saw someone else’s kid having a temper tantrum? Yes, other kids do the same stupid things your twins do too. See? It is normal.
However, just because it is normal, doesn’t make it any less frustrating. But this does help you realize that you aren’t a failure as a parent.
Things Take Time
Your twins are learning proper behavior. This process doesn’t happen overnight.
The very things that are trying your patience now will pass with time.
Crying infants that constantly demand attention will eventually give way to toddlers with their own unique mischief.
(RELATED: The Twin Stroller Advisor helps you find the perfect double stroller for your family.)
Twins go through all the same stages as a singleton but the seasons are more intense since you have two at the same time. You have double potty training, teething, crawlers, solid feeders, and more. Each major milestone brings challenges and will try your patience as your twins figure things out.
Look for the Positive
One of the joys of having twins is that they don’t always get into trouble at the same time. When one twin does something bad and tries your patience, force yourself to focus on the other twin. What is she doing right that can be praised?
When we’ve turned our attention to the well-behaving twin, it has often led to the trouble maker changing her actions positively.
When you’re about to lose your patience with an unruly child, focus that emotion in a positive direction on his or her sibling.
Take a Break
As a parent, you’re on duty all the time. This wears you down quickly and intensely.
It is perfectly fine to take a break from the heat of the moment. You know yourself the best. If you’re about to explode, it is best that you walk away from the situation and get a breather.
As long as your children aren’t in immediate danger, it is fine to leave them in the other room for a few moments while you calm down in the bathroom or your bedroom.
Laugh it Off
I’ve found that many instances of my twins’ behavior that drive me nuts are actually quite funny when viewed objectively after the fact.
(NOTE: Still expecting? Get weekly updates on your twin pregnancy here.)
If you pause a moment to view the situation with a sense of humor and force a laugh, it will change your demeanor very quickly.
Often your twins have instances that interrupt your perfect plans. Diaper blowouts, potty breaks, feeding schedules, or stubborn two year olds can put the brakes on an ideal schedule.
If you have appointments or activities you need to attend, make sure that you plan in buffer time to allow for the inevitable surprises that your twins will bring.
When you are just at home with your kids, remember that you have plenty of time. You don’t have to do everything super fast.
Regardless of what your children do, you have the choice of how you will respond.
As your children get older, they will mimic how you respond to certain behaviors. If you yell at your kids to stop or start doing something, your kids will use that same tone talking to you and their siblings.
Remember that your kids aren’t malicious on purpose (at least not most of the time). They don’t want to hurt you or get you frustrated. So don’t take it personally.
Love your kids and react accordingly.
(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)
Counting Does Work
You’ve heard the old adage that if you’re mad you should count to ten before proceeding. Why have you heard this? Because it works!
If you don’t trust your initial reaction to your childrens’ shenanigans, pause and count to ten before responding.
Prevent a Reoccurrence
Just because your twins did something foolish today doesn’t mean they should be allowed to repeat that performance tomorrow.
Part of being patient with your twins is helping them avoid mistakes that cause frustration in your home.
Take time to correct bad behavior, model the proper actions, and praise your twins when they are doing the right thing.
Set expectations of proper behavior before you enter a situation that could be trouble. That will prevent some trouble and allow you to quickly remind them and get them back on track if needed.
Don’t Give Up
Twins will try your patience daily. Don’t let your emotions or anger get the best of you. Try some of the tactics we’ve talked about above and you’ll be well on your way to more peaceful interactions with your children and in your home.
Original photo by Donnie Ray Jones