Why the Turn Timer will Save Your Sanity with Twins

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - January 29, 2021

One of the joys of twins is that they learn to share early in life.

Faced with a constant companion that often wants whatever limited resource is at hand, your twins will share or fight.

The sharing moments make you smile. You should verbally praise your kids when they share. That will encourage this good behavior.

Seeing your twins share helps you feel satisfied that they will turn out OK in the end.

Jurassic Park Style Twins Shirt

However, these blissful moments often end abruptly with fighting over the same toy.

You’ll probably prefer the sharing to the fighting.

(RELATED: Still looking for the right twin gear? See my Twin Baby Gear Essentials.)

Turn Timer to the Rescue


One trick we’ve found very helpful with our girls (and our other kids) is the turn timer.

The turn timer is simply a kitchen timer like any of these.

When the kids argue over a toy, game, movie, time with mommy, the swing, etc., we pull out the turn timer and set expectations. “It is so-and-so’s turn now. When the turn timer dings, it is so-and-so-else’s turn.”

We’ve set the timer for a minute or two based on how long we think our child’s attention span is.

Twin Story Shirt

We’ll follow up after starting the timer by asking the kid with the coveted item: “What happens when the timer dings?” and make sure they understand the turn-taking process.

Yes, your twins get plenty of opportunities to share between themselves and other siblings. However, they still need some help and structure to get them in the good habits you are hoping to help them develop.

(RELATED: Your twins will need a lot of gear. Here's the complete twins baby registry checklist to get ready for your twins' arrival.

It does baffle me that the kids will often listen to a small kitchen timer instead of just being obedient when Mommy or I ask them to do something. Oh, well. There is nothing wrong with some extra tools in the parenting toolbox.

Try the turn timer the next time your kids need a little help sharing.

Dad Squared Shirt

Do you already use the turn timer method? How has it worked for you? Have you had success with something else?

Picture by Ross

Further Reading

Dad's Guide to Raising Twins book
Don't forget to pick up a copy of the definitive guide to raising twins. "Dad's Guide to Raising Twins" was written for fathers of twins to help guide you through the first several years with twins. Click here to learn more about the book and get your copy.

2 thoughts on “Why the Turn Timer will Save Your Sanity with Twins”

Leave a Comment