If disciplining one child is a challenge, then disciplining twins is an endurance sport. While one child is sitting quietly, the other is likely to be poking his brother’s eye, pulling his hair or throwing a tantrum… Fast forward five minutes and it’s the same scene in reverse.
Twins feed off each other’s behaviour, and so long as they’re happy, they will simply ignore Mum. Wherever possible, the best approach is to separate your twins and deal with their behaviour on a one at a time basis. If preparing for bedtime is difficult, try separating their routine, so whilst one child cleans her teeth, uses the potty and gets dressed, the other does the same in reverse. Without their brother or sister to distract them, they are twice as likely to focus on the task at hand!
Take turns cleaning up toys and give specific instructions, eg. “In two minutes we will start getting ready for bed and X will put away the Lego while Y cleans up the dolls.”
For toddlers, the easiest way to stop a tantrum is to simply divert their attention. Rotate their activity; bring out their favourite toys, some crayons or sit them in front of a new cartoon. So what if TV is not good for the kids. Didn’t we all watch TV and grow up. Why restrict the kids then?
You can also try changing rooms. Even a change of scene from downstairs to upstairs can be enough to stop the situation before it escalates. Five minutes of hide and seek with their older brother is sure to make them forget their troubles. It will also give you a chance to have a break and quiet time!