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Twin Toddler Tantrums

I didn't think I was going to experience the "Terrible Twos" before the twins turned 2...but I was so *excited* to learn at our 18 month check-up that we were already in the thick of it...meaning we get to experience the full-blown toddler meltdowns x2.

I posted a video on TikTok that went viral of an epic meltdown at breakfast one morning while trying to make them breakfast. Or this afternoon when one black bib was better than the other black bib:

The times when these tantrums never seem to be ideal...but when will they be? I have quickly learned that things tend to escalate more in the evening, even if they both had a good nap. The notion of "witching hour" is real...and still going strong at 21 months of age.

If both parents are home, there are two options:

1. Divide and Conquer - separate them and let each parent calm one down. Often this 1:1 attention (which is rare for twins) is enough to brighten them back up.

2. Give Space to Breath - did one of you have a long day at work or a bad headache and just not in the space to deal with a screaming kid? Give your partner permission to step away and allow just one of you to calm them with the steps below.

But I have learned a few things that I want to share here:

1. Deal with the neediest twin first - most often these days, that means Jayna, if I am not able to calm her down, she will quickly get her sister worked up too. Because what is better than one crying toddler? Two crying toddlers.

“But what if both twins start to unravel at the same time?” Yup - I have been there, but there is always one who starts to go south first and often I think the other follows suit because they want a piece of the action (a.k.a. my attention).

2. Give them a hug - Stop what you are doing, stop trying to fix the problem and just give them a hug. I have to remind myself that they are still working through their big emotions and how to express themselves since they cannot speak.

3. Acknowledge their feelings - Fill in the blank, "I am sorry you are _____. Can we take a few deep breaths together?" I feel like I sound like a hippie to say this, but I swear it actually helps, and I hope that when they are able to speak, this will be there to help.

4. Distract - Who doesn't love a good distraction? Look at the birds outside! Did you hear someone at the door? Want to read your favorite book? It doesn't work every time, but always an option. The one distraction I won't use is the TV. Yes, we use the TV in our house, especially when trying to prepare meals and juggle other items, but not as a way to calm a tantrum.

5. Give Space to Breath - Once everyone is calm, take a few deep breaths mama. You did great and now you're smarter and more skilled for the next one....and it's ok to grab your phone and snap a quick picture of video to remember the moment.


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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Kristen, a first-time Mom of identical twin girls who are 3. I work full-time, teach group fitness classes, and am on the wild ride of motherhood.

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