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Help! my 14 month old twins hit and bite each other how can I get them to stop?

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#1 miracles happen

Posted 11 January 2010 - 10:29 AM

Hi I have 14 month old twin girls, they hit and bite each other all the time. When they do it I say no thats not nice and move them away and go back and pay lots of attention to the one thats hurt but its not helping they just laugh. They have 2 of almost every toy but they still fight over the same toy, do all twins fight?

#2 Daisy Goat

Posted 11 January 2010 - 10:40 AM

I am sorry to say to you that mine (boys) still fight terribly over absolutely everything possible. But in saying that they also play together fantastically when the mood takes them!

The favourite saying is "me too"

The good side is that they only wrestle now and no longer bite continuously ( well very rarely) nor do they pull hair anymore. They still push and shove and snatch.

I think it is just what happens when you have two children at exactly the same developmental age that have to share everything from Mummy and Daddy to baths to toys.

Mine have 2 of, sometimes 3 of everything too but will still fight over one of them (and they are 3yo now). I think it has to do with the thought that whatever the other one has must be better than what they have! rolleyes.gif It is not until very recently that they are starting to realise cause and effect- that if they are mean to each other they will get in trouble or be put in time out or ignored or whatever. Prior to this nothing I did made any impact on them.

Another twin mum here wrote something I had never thought of before- her twins are now clambering to be carried or picked up often (which mine have started doing too) because they know that Mummy cannot pick them both up and therefore it is one thing they don't have to share. I think it is so true. We are now making planned efforts for each of them to have one on one time with both Mummy and Daddy.It seems to be making them very happy.

Perhaps try this.

#3 miracles happen

Posted 11 January 2010 - 10:54 AM

Thanks for the advice daisy goat original.gif My girls have become very clingy with me and only want me to do things for them, even if my husband tries to get one out of the cot in the morning they lay down and scream until I come and get them. My husband doesn't get to spend  much time with them during the week because of work and they are use to being with me all the time and it seems like they are always fighting for my attention. They don't like the other to be near me. I was just worried as you always hear people saying how close twins are but you never hear about the fighting, I was starting to think they might not like each other but im glad to hear that it is normal.

#4 rob6712col

Posted 11 January 2010 - 10:56 AM

I could have written your post. My now 2.3yr old twin DD's still fight ALOT over stuff.  They used to bite - actually one more than the other and pull hair. I think they are probably too young yet for the naughty corner type discipline so what you are doing is all you can do. Just keep telling them no.

I actually read a great article in our local AMBA magazine entitled "Twins don't have to share". I thought it was unusual but taking and using the principals in the article has really helped the fighting in this house. Basically it was that just because they are twins we expect them to share everything yet an older or younger sibling have their own things.  It said to start to label toys/books etc and also to have the "share" toys. I don't think your twins are too early for this. Everything that comes into this house now is labelled with either one of the twins names, my eldest name or declared a share toy so there will be no fighting over it. By 18 months of age my twin girls could recognise the "S" or the "E" on the item and if the fight  started over the toy it was easy to resolve. If it is a share toy then they had to stop, calm down and take turns, if they didn't then the toy was taken away.  It is not perfect and doesn't work 100% of the time but has helped ALOT around here.

Now they are a little older even the colouring in books are labelled and they each have their own box of pencils as this was causing me fights too on who got what colour etc. My 4yr old then still gets to use "big girl" textas as they are in her box.

Just an idea and I know it won't work for everyone but has for us. Mainly because it is easy to resolve the fight. They also now know that they can play with the others toys if they ask first.

Good luck, it really is just a stage they go through which I beleive stops around the time they leave home!!! maybe....


Edit to add that my girls are really clingy too, especially waking up from a nap but now they know each have a designated knee. E get the left knee to snuggle on and S the right knee and thats how it is. Again not perfect but works for us. (and I get to sit on the couch for a good 15 minutes having double snuggles.

Edited by rob6712col, 11 January 2010 - 10:58 AM.

#5 fillesetjumeaux

Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:33 PM

Robyn, what a fantastic idea!  I have some name labels already made up for the boys, and did put one name on each of the two books we bought them for Christmas.  Makes sense that they end up with "share" toys by default, being twins, yet they should really be treated as individuals.

We try not to buy shared presents for them.  Other people don't necessarily think about it that way, though.

#6 Manicmum

Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:40 PM

OOh! that might work, I'll try it.  I do have my doubts in this household though.


#7 twotofour

Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:41 PM

hi i am sorry to hear your twins are fighting sad.gif my kids dont fight (other then verbal) or bite. I also dont buy them the same toys.I love watching DS playing babies with DD and DD playing wrestling games.I guess I do shadow them alot until around 2.5 yrs when we have found language skills are better and they can communicate their needs better.I dont let them try and sort it out themselves until around this age.I have done this with my older two children also.I seperate,use a very firm tone and use time out (in the portacot) when little at the first sign of losing control of themselves and now mine are  2 yrs 7 months we have hardly any issues. We still get crying and tantrums but they never try and get phsyical with each other.I must say I was a little frightened when everyone told me  when my twins were babies that twins will do all these antisocial behaviours frequently sad.gif
Jack did bite Ella once when I was in the toilet wink.gif
Good luck

#8 Figmoon

Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:43 PM

My life is  a carbon copy of yours!  my twin DD 'S are fifteen months old and we have hair pulling,hitting the other on the head with whatever is handy, fighting over sitting on my knee-yes, i have a knee for each of them- and the clingyness where my DH can't ever pacify one of our girls when she cries as she just wants me and cries even more if i don't pick her up. Some days are more crazy than others.!
My biggest problem is that they are climbing on chairs and laughing when i say no and take them off, this is happening too many times to count in a day.This also applies to 'playing' with the electric fan buttons. I feel like a broken record repeating myself.They just egg each other on and laugh at each other and me.
I feel like i'm loosing control of two tiny terrors ohmy.gif  as nothing is seeming to work.They don't behave any better for DH

#9 Sal78

Posted 12 January 2010 - 02:21 AM

saying no doesn't really work at that age. do u get down to their level and make eye contact.

I flick the back of the hands too. But i don't hit etc..no actions that they can copy. Also, timeout is good.

#10 Twinmum+2

Posted 12 January 2010 - 08:03 AM

My two boys are going to be 3 in April - they fight every day, mostly when they get tired.  It's our signal - must be bedtime, the boys are trying to kill each other rolleyes.gif

We have had a bit of success with the time out stuff... Supernanny style.  Though sometimes you have to stay there with them to make sure they stay in the corner until their time is up.  Then they have a great time hugging and making up.  

We also have two of everything mostly - but they only ever want what the other one has.  I figure that they will grow out of it eventually.  So hang in there... I am sure it is going to get better.

#11 Daisy Goat

Posted 12 January 2010 - 09:04 AM

If they are not listening to what you say or understanding anything  all I can say is that you will send yourself crazy trying to get them to not fight if you leave them ith the object they are fighting over or near each other.

The reason I found the second year so much more difficult than the first was purely because they hurt each other so frequently and therefore were near on impossible to leave unattended for even a minute yet at the same time may as well have been from Mars as to their understanding of cause and effect.

I know Sal feels that flicking their hands is not hitting but a spade is a shovel no matter what you call it. Just because they are not dexterous enough to replicate it does not mean they are not being inflicted pain as a means of control. Yes they will eventually learn that doing something will end up in pain.  ALthough I am not so sure of this as my two bit each other for more than a year and even though it hurt ( and I even got them to bite themselves to try and understand) they just kept doing it. The key is comprehension not fear of pain.

All I an say is vigilance and seperation and pray that it does not last as long  as others have dealt with it! LOL

#12 Sal78

Posted 12 January 2010 - 10:24 AM

daisygoat - actually, my flick isn't painful at all. I have no strength in my flick. My kids maybe wince a lil but they have never cried from my flick. But for some reason it works. Especially from a young age when they don't understand what we say, actions seem to work better. They know that a flick means 'no'. Like when Josh started crawling and went for the electrical outlet, I flicked the back of his hand with a firm no. He kept going for it and I had to do it about 5x before he stopped. It's about persistency. He finally realised and stopped and since then he has never gone for electrical outlets. The flicking i already working for the twins.

Though when Josh was much older 2.5y.o+, if he stil wasn't listening I'd get Dh to flick and yes he df welled up..ouch!

But considering we don't smack. In the 4yrs we have probably on smacked ds1 a handful of times and it was only because it was really bad.

DH is an early childhood teacher. He gets great results from his kids and he never believes in screaming, shouting, saying the word 'naughty' etc He does most of the disciplining with ds1. We never went through terrible 2s and 3s and ds1 doesn't throw tantrums etc also he listens to us...a lot of it is about paying attention and listening. He knows to look at a person when they're talking to him etc

However, twin 1 Katie is already throwing tantrums and she's only 10mths! I think girls are harder. She's gonna be a right lil princess.

#13 miracles happen

Posted 12 January 2010 - 01:09 PM

chickiedee, our girls sound so much alike my girls have also started climbing on chairs and laughing when i say no. I can't leave them alone for a second because they get into so much mischief together or hurt each other. I was thinking of taking them to a playgroup so they can spend more time playing with other children but im scared that they might hurt one of the other children. Hopefully they grow out of this soon.

#14 Daisy Goat

Posted 12 January 2010 - 01:17 PM

I was thinking of taking them to a playgroup so they can spend more time playing with other children but im scared that they might hurt one of the other children.
Try it- you might be surprised! I took mine and was stunned that other children were treated with kindness, respect and love. Plus they left each other the hell alone whilst there!

Mine have never lashed out at another child- maybe they get it all out on each other.

#15 nano-tyrannus

Posted 12 January 2010 - 01:22 PM

QUOTE (miracles happen @ 11/01/2010, 10:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi I have 14 month old twin girls, they hit and bite each other all the time. When they do it I say no thats not nice and move them away and go back and pay lots of attention to the one thats hurt but its not helping they just laugh. They have 2 of almost every toy but they still fight over the same toy, do all twins fight?

Hey im just curious, are they identical?
And are they evenly matched, or is one clearly more dominant?

#16 miracles happen

Posted 12 January 2010 - 01:54 PM

the khan - yes they are identical and they are pretty evenly matched. One does tend to follow the other one more but she does stand up for herself and does not let the other dominate her.

#17 Wut??

Posted 12 January 2010 - 07:44 PM

Mine did that.  My son bit my daughter on the face once.  It took ages for the bruise to go.  They sort of grew out of it at about 19 or 20 months.

They still scuffle, but there are no teethmarks and broken skin.  I ignore it until one of them really gets hurt.  Which is very rare.

#18 Figmoon

Posted 12 January 2010 - 07:50 PM

miracles happen,Yes, they do sound alike !  ohmy.gif  Another day of 'playing' the chair climbing game!!!!think i will put the chairs behind the sofa where they can't reach them. today topped it when twin two took a book on the chair to 'read' to herself after climbing up there! another game they excel in is jumping up and down in their cots, while zipped into Grobags and laughing manically while this is happening and of crse falling over.This continues until someones head is bashed against the bars and then it all starts again.
We go to music time at the library and yes they are nicer to all other kids than each otherOne day at a time  rolleyes.gif .

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