Twin Tantrums: How to Deal


Dealing with a child who has a tantrum is hard enough, but dealing with two is even harder. When one goes off, the other one often follows suit. Not only that, but they often feed off each other, making the entire ordeal even harder to manage. But, that doesn’t mean that dealing with twin tantrums is impossible. There are a few things you can do to help stop or mitigate these problems. You have to be firm when you decide to implement these steps, because children will not follow you if you go soft on them.
Reward for Good Behavior
Children love toys, and they will let you know this whenever you go to the mall or most stores. They will look at and pick out things that they want while you are walking around. However, when a child has their eyes set on something, they will have a tantrum if they don’t get it now.

So, before getting a reward, tell your twins that they have to wait until you are finished shopping. If they can go the whole time without having a tantrum, they will get a toy. That’s the easy part, the hard part is keeping the twins aware of this.

When the twins get cranky when you are looking at clothes or taking a long time to do something, they will start moaning, which is the beginning of a tantrum. If either child acts out, let them know they lost their toy. This will probably incite more screaming and crying, but you have to remain firm. Once the child understands that he or she will be deprived of something, especially if the other twin was good and got a toy, they will stop the tantrums.

Extra Help
It’s not always possible, but having something else with you, like a spouse or parent, can make dealing with the twin tantrums much easier. Assign a child to each of you, and make sure to console or calm either twin when a tantrum starts. It is much easier to deal with one child instead of two, so the workload will be much easier when a tantrum starts.

Not only that, but if you have to remove the child because they are acting out too much, then it will be much easier to do with two adults.

Give Control to Twins
One way of avoiding tantrums is by giving the twins control. Much like adults, children get angry when they cannot control their environment. If they are given a chance to control their environment, then the likelihood of tantrums usually decreases.

Instead of asking, “do you want to take a bath now?” ask, “do you want to take a bath before or after dinner?” This gives the twins control of their world, and they will normally feel less inclined to have tantrums in public.

Understand the Twins
Each child is different, and you will know them better than anyone. If your twins are getting tired, then going out to the mall or food store probably isn’t a good idea. Tiredness very often leads to a tantrum, so try to avoid these situations if at all possible.

Understand the twins’ limits and abide by them. This will not stop all tantrums, but it should decrease the number of them.

Separate the Children
Twins feed off each other. If one is having a tantrum, then the other may in response. When this is happening, it might be best to separate the twins. This is best done if you have two adults with you, so one can watch one child while you watch the other.

If you are home, then you can put one twin in a separate room so he or she is away from the other twin.

Dealing with twin tantrums can be very frustrating and difficult, but it is possible to manage the task. While it is easier if you have two adults, so each can watch one of the twins, you can also manage the task by yourself if this is impossible. Just pay attention to your twins, understand what causes the tantrums, and you can usually stop them or manage them before they get out of control.


Tom writes for Assisted Living Today, a leading source of information on a range of topics related to elderly care and alaska assisted living.





  1. 1
    Janet W. says:

    You mentioned some fabulous tips that can be used for siblings in general.

  2. 2
    Melanie Johnson says:

    I have twins.

    There are some great tips there but the first one I disagree with. Children should learn to behave without being bribed. And I would never take a small child with me while clothes shopping. Even my older children would get cranky watching me try on clothes. It’s asking for melt downs. I do agree in giving them choices between two acceptable outcomes. Kids, twins or otherwise, need that.

    I never had any behavior problems with my twins until the hit 11. They never fought or acted out and were in fact easier together than my singleton two year old now. Now that they are almost teenagers, they fight like crazy. I am finding I have to separate them now, when I never had to when they were younger.

  3. 3

    I agree many of these could be used with children close in age as well as twins. I couldn’t imagine having twins (although I wanted them) and my 3 kids are 24 months between 1 & 2 and 22 months between 2 & 3!

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