Of course 'taming' is not the right word when talking about your kids. Whatever their behavior is like, you should instead be thinking about discipline, safety, and behavior management.
Still, when you have twin toddlers who seem to spend a good part of their day climbing, biting, and screaming, the word tame does seem to fit...
But these are just a few of the issues that can make parenting toddlers challenging.
Toddler Safety Tips
Childproofing your home for your infant was likely easy. A crawling baby is not quite as mobile as a walking, running, and climbing toddler.
Now, you might turn around for a second and find your toddler on your couch, bed, or sitting on the kitchen table.
Things can be especially dangerous if you have climbing twins, since they might knock, or even push, one another off whatever they have climbed on.
Toddlers can also be very resourceful, starting to use 'tools' to get what they want or where they want to go. For example, if they can't reach something, don't be surprised to find your toddler use a box or toy to climb on to further his reach.
All of this can make keeping your toddler safe difficult. In addition to basic childproofing tips, like putting gates on stairs, latches on cabinets, and childproof covers on door knobs, etc., you should consider protecting your toddler from some of the 'hidden dangers' in many homes. This can include installing wall anchors on large appliances and heavy pieces of furniture so that they don't tip over, a stove guard or shield, a toilet lid lock, appliance locks for your dishwasher and refrigerator.
And most importantly, don't leave them unsupervised, even for short periods of time. Although you may think that a room is childproofed, it is almost impossible to completely 'toddler' proof a room.
Most of the toddler behaviors that concern parents, especially hitting, biting, and having tantrums, are very normal. They can all be amplified when you have twins though, especially when they begin pushing, hitting and, biting each other.
Although it can make it seem like you are spending all day saying 'No Bite' and 'Be Nice', it is important to understand that many of these behaviors are just your toddlers way of learning about and exploring his environment and what his limits are. They are also a way for your toddler to express his frustrations when he doesn't get his way.
That doesn't mean that you shouldn't do anything about them though. Learning more about disciplining your toddler can help you decrease these behaviors and get through the toddler years.
Fun with Twin Toddlers
Even with all of the challenging moments, there are many other things that make the toddler years some of the most fun and rewarding for parents.
Just seeing what new things your toddler is going to do each day can be fun and exciting.
What new word will they say?
What new behavior will they imitate?
Will they finally figure out how to turn the TV back on when they get a hold of the remote control?
With twin toddlers, these 'new' things can also be quite surprising.
Our boys, being a bit aggressive at times, have gotten to wear they like to run up to their brother, wrap their arms around him, and then pull him to the ground. They also will stand in front of each other and kick, although they rarely actually hit each other. And fortunately, they seem to like these tackles and playing the kick boxing edition of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.
So keep a careful eye on your toddler, both to keep them safe and also so that you can enjoy and appreciate all of the new things they will do.
Dr. Iannelli is the proud father of identical twin boys and a somewhat helpful stepson who is still wondering why we had to bring home two babies at the same time.