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The “terrible twos” can be bad enough. Just ask any mama who’s been there, and they will likely tell you that this age is hard. Now imagine the mama with twins. When you’re twinning the terrible twos, it may feel like there is no end in sight.
Twins have this energy about them. They are super emotionally connected. So when one is happy, the other is usually happy. But when one is melting down, or sad, then it’s also very likely that the other twin is going to experience the same emotions.
So how do you turn the “terrible twos” into the “terrific twos?” Well, mama, keep reading! I have seven tips that will help you not just to survive this season of “toddlerhood,” but to enjoy it!
1. SCHEDULE & ROUTINE
It is hands down, my #1 tip for managing the terrible twos. HANDS DOWN! So pay attention, mama!
You have to have your twins on a schedule. Asleep schedule and nap schedule. (Yes, your two-year-old babies still need a daily nap!) A meal schedule. A snack schedule.
They need a routine. Children need to know what is coming next. They need direction and reminders that they have to brush their teeth before they go to bed every night. They need to know that throwing a hellacious fit will not get them out of it.
Toddlers, especially two-year-old toddlers, love to test boundaries. That’s how they learn!
So even if you have to take that babe back to bed 17 times at night, you can’t give in and let them curl up on the couch beside you. Unless you want that to be your nightly routine.
Snacks are life! Toddlers can become hangry, like right now. And once they start that downhill, hangry spiral, it’s super challenging to get them back.
Having snacks ready when I pick them up from daycare when they get up from their nap and as soon as they wake up in the morning are essential for this mama! I know if I don’t have these vital times covered with snacks, then my precious little darlings will likely morph into tiny psychopaths before my eyes.
So, stock up your car and your purse or diaper bag with toddler-friendly snacks! Don’t forget to throw a couple of snacks into Dad’s truck too! He will thank you, trust me!
3. KEEP THEM BUSY
Toddlers have tons of energy to burn off, and they aren’t designed to sit still for long periods. Keeping them busy is key to keeping them from melting down.
One of my favorite ways to keep my twins busy is to involve them in whatever I am doing. I always include them in my workouts in the morning. It gets their blood flowing, helps them to wake up and burn off a little energy. And, if I feel a ton better after working out, why wouldn’t they too!
If I need to work on my computer, I will take my laptop to the porch and let them run around outside.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Idle hands are the devil’s playthings.” It rings true for toddlers too! Keep them busy, and you will notice those terrible two moments turning into terrific two moments.
4. PRETEND PLAY
Pretend play is so important for toddlers because it allows them to learn and grow. My twins love to imitate Daddy and me. When left to free playtime, they will most likely choose to role play Mommy and Daddy putting them to bed, or talking on their phone to their friends or putting on shoes, coats, and hats and going to town to go to Wal-Mart.
It can be hard as a parent to get anything done without both twins being right under my heels, either wanting to help or to be held. Involving them in pretend play is a great way to occupy them, allowing me to be able to get dinner cooked too! It can be as simple as handing them a bowl and spoon and asking them if they can help me by mixing up something for dinner.
5. BE CONSISTENT WITH DISCIPLINE
When your toddler does meltdown (or when they are both melting down at the same time), it’s easy to lose your cool. When they’ve pumped laundry soap all over the laundry room floor for the 5th time this week, it’s easy to fly into a mama-rage.
Consistency is KEY to discipline. When your twins gang up on you, and you find that sea of soap on the floor again, how are you going to react? What does punishment or discipline look like? Do you believe in spanking? Time outs? Removal of their favorite toys? Whatever you choose to do, however, you decide to discipline. You need to be consistent.
Your toddlers are pushing the limits to learn. And if you are inconsistent with your discipline and consequences, then they will try it one more time to see what Mommy is going to do this time.
And remember to give them grace too! Sometimes as adults, we have bad days. Our toddlers are going to have bad days also. You can verbalize their feelings, be their soft place to land, and be consistent in your discipline at the same time.
Even if you follow all of my tips, your twin toddlers are still going to meltdown from time to time. They call it the terrible twos for a reason, after all, mama.
So this tip may be the second most important tip I have for you today. SELFCARE MAMA! It is so important, yet something that a lot of us put to the back burner. You cannot pour from an empty cup. You must take care of yourself if you are going to be the best version of yourself for your family.
Self-care looks different for each of us. For me, it’s getting my workout daily, first thing when I wake up! Maybe self-care looks like 30 minutes on Saturday morning, where your hubby takes care of the kids, and you grab a coffee solo. Perhaps it’s a bubble bath and a good book after they go to bed on Friday nights. Whatever your self-care jam, find it and make it happen, mama!
PS. Do you want to turn your self-care into a morning fitness routine with a group of like-minded mamas who support and encourage each other daily? Fill out my application HERE to join my tribe while filling your cup daily!
Toddlers are tiny humans who experience mega emotions. They are learning and growing. They are just beginning to understand what is an acceptable form of self-expression when they are happy or sad or mad. All of this combines and often explodes as a terrible two tantrum.
But with a little patience, understanding, consistency, and, of course, snacks, you can begin to transform those terrible twos into the terrific twos. You may even (gasp!) enjoy this season!
Guest Post by Amanda from Partying with Twins:
Hi! I’m Amanda, full-time working mama to 2-year-old twins! I love sharing my journey and providing practical tips for not just twin mamas, but all mamas! I believe Moms need a supportive community, a tribe, so to speak, to make it through this motherhood journey! Join my tribe, and we will rock this thing called Motherhood together!
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