What's yours is mine

"What's yours is mine; what's mine you cannot have" seems to be Sugar's mantra these days. Its all been cute to watch - the little squabbles, the kidnapping of pacis etc. However, cute on a 7 month old is becoming concerning on a 10 month old.

In all these activities, Sugar has usually been the aggressor and apparently she's started doing that with the other babies in daycare. If she wants a toy, she goes for it. Even if it's in the hands of a 22lb baby (please note that said aggressor is currently 25th percentile for weight). I believe that it's time for some intervention.

First step is diversion of interest. Its fairly easy to know when Sugar has decided to go for something. Her gaze gets intense and she barrels towards it with stone-faced determination and laser focus. This is where the adults step in and redirect her attention to something else. It takes 3 or 4 interruptions to distract her and sometimes it ends with her playing happily and sometimes it ends with a tantrum.

Second step is Soon-Certain-Positive/Negative consequences. If she succeeds in getting the object away from Spice, she's asked to give it back. If she does, she gets positive consequence in the form of praise and kisses. If she doesn't, the negative consequence is that the toy is taken away from her and given back to Spice or hidden. Why is this important right now? Because

1. I don't think it's too early for her to learn to be a sharer.
2. Spice is extremely gentle and usually let's Sugar have her way. This means she gets no turn on the fun toys which also happen to be educational. When Spice is alone in the play area, she's a different baby and explores more. I don't want her to be shortchanged by her more-mobile, high-energy playmate/sister.

Let me end with a first time mom's disclaimer - I'm not a child psychologist, this is just my take. Twin mamas out there, tell me how it worked for you please.

6 comments :

  1. Ahhhhh....the joys of twin parenting. My daughter is the one who takes things from my son...since birth. We also used the same type of positive, negative consequences...some days were good, some days were not. We even tried to make sure we had 2 of everything fun/educational but that didn't help becuase she still wanted what HE had. I too was worried but as they have grown, now 20 months, it has all worked itself out...somewhat. She is a better sharer and he is a little more assertive. I let them try to work things out together rather than always stepping in, unless it becomes physical and I think this has been a positive approach. But like I said they are 20 months old so they have a little better understanding of expectations and consequences. If I happen to catch one of them in the act of "whatever" I always use it as a teaching opportunity.

    I think that by nature by Daughter is more fiesty and assertive and I want to encourage this in a RESPECTFUL way. My son is more of a "go with the flow" kinda guy and I also want to encourage this without letting himself be taken advantage of....

    TRICKY stuff!! Good Luck! :)

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  2. I think you plan of action sounds perfect!! They aren't too young to learn sharing. Yes, it will be something to work on for a while, but they will get it!! She sound just like my son was. Eyes locked and determination of a tiger!!

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  3. You are handling the situation in much the same way we do. Em is definitely more aggressive than Drew, and I find myself having to step in.

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  4. thanks you guys. This is one I'm definitely not 100% sure I'm handling right. Feels good to know I'm not the first to board that train

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  5. Sounds like you are right on track! We do the same thing. Livvy is our agressor, but she is also the more sensitive one...you use a negative tone or stern face and she bursts into tears (LOL). I was wondering if this was the right way to be handling these sharing issues, and the answer is apparently yes! Twin mommas unite!
    If anyone has any tips on how to handle hitting, I'm all ears...Livvy has started hitting Bri...I grab her arm, tell her no, and remove her from the situation but I don't know that she really "gets it"...I don't like it that she's already getting physical with her sister! And the hair pulling too...ouch!
    Anywho, great post! =)

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  6. Ok I guess I am the odd woman out. I really don't think my girls know they are doing wrong. What is going through their head is "Ooh! My sister has an awesome toy! I want it!" And I don't think they are at the developmental age where trying to teach them to share with sissy is going to have any impact whatsoever. If I catch them in the act, I definitely tell them "no-no, don't steal from sissy" and give the injured sister back her toy but I know they don't get it. And if I'm not right there with them, I just let them work it out on their own. I have one that is definitely more aggressive but I can tell that my more laid-back twin has started to assert herself more and more. Now, let me say, if one girl was making the other one miserable day in and day out, I would be more concerned. But most of the time they are just happily playing away. And I figure, if they're not concerned, why should I be? Plenty of time to learn to share in the future when they get it more. But I tend to be kind of a laid-back person myself. Biting on the other hand, I do not approve of. That gets a very stern look and a "NO-NO! We do not bite!"

    Sorry. Longest comment ever.

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