One twin constantly criticizing the other

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by ohtwinmom, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. ohtwinmom

    ohtwinmom Well-Known Member

    I've started noticing this more and more often. One of mine is slightly more ahead than his brother academically, they are in the same class right now, next year we plan to split but for now how do I explain this so that he understands? He is constantly telling brother that he's wrong at everything (sports, spelling, how he forms letters, etc.) I've told him that everyone is working on something, showing instead of criticizing, etc. I know it comes with the age, but he's just not getting it. How have you dealt with this?
  2. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    I might see if they could split them after Christmas. This is not good for either child. My girls are uber competitive which is why we split them up.
  3. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    I would talk to the teachers about separating them as much as possible within the class. I don't like the idea of moving one mid year--because that one feels "punished" because they are now in a class with all new people while the other gets to stay with the "friends". They flip-flopped my boys last year a month into the school year, and I will say the one that was switched because his brother needed to be switched wasn't happy about it!

    Also, for homework, I would have them do different things at the same time--like one does math, while the other reads.

    Good luck!
  4. MarchI

    MarchI Well-Known Member

    I would split them but I would also tell the criticizing one that he is not the teacher/coach/parent and to leave corrections up to the adults. At this age, I would also tell him that if he helps or leads by example, he can get a reward. If he only criticizes, there will be consequences. You can start by having them both sit together and come up with rules that will help them work together and get their work done. The #1 rule in our house is to be respectful of each other. When DS starts criticizing me or arguing with me over homework (because he KNOWS EVERYTHING), I remove myself from the situation and he has to do homework by himself. In addition, he loses tv. Take those rules and start applying them with rewards and consequences and you will see a difference. Also, get the teacher in on it, she may let a subset of the rules be enforced at school.
  5. 40+mom

    40+mom Well-Known Member

    We have a version of this in our house, even with the kids in different classes (and have been since pre-k)! Seems like our DS is uber-competitive about everything.

    We try to reward positive help/comments from one sibling to the other and notice the "good". We explain that we are a family and that we help each other out. We explain that different people learn in different ways and at different times and that is just part of their differences and does not mean that someone is "better".

    I think some of it is just the age and some of it is sibling rivalry. Hang in there!

  6. Twin nanny

    Twin nanny Well-Known Member

    This. I would basically tell the one who is being critical 'If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all'. If he continued to say critical things he would be punished.

    I also agree with pp's that you should ask the teacher to keep them apart in school as much as possible.
  7. double-or-nothing

    double-or-nothing Well-Known Member

    I agree with the others that separating them is a good idea. This is main reason we separated them for Kindergarten. Lorien has always been more advanced academically while Arwen is the total social butterfly. So between one feeling she couldn't keep up with her sister regarding the work (and I didn't want the teachers comparing them), the other was grabbing all the attention of the other kids.

    I'm dealing with this a lot. And honestly, while separating them for school has definitely helped for each of them to shine in their own ways during the school day, I still deal with it at home. It doesn't happen just at school. It's so hard to deal with. I'm still dealing with it. Arwen is super SUPER competitive with her sister and I think it stems from the fact that she was always aware of Lorien's reading skills and reasoning ability and her overall abitlity to just figure things out where Arwen greatly struggles (Arwen is EASILY frustrated). She will constantly correct her when she's singing a song if she sings one word wrong. She will criticize something in her sister's picture. It's very frustrating for me, but I'm guessing it's pretty...normal? All I can do is keep correcting/reminding her to be supportive. I've done the whole "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all" and other phrases but I feel it falls on deaf ears. I guess what I'm saying is I haven't found the magic solution yet, but just know you are not alone. I'm right there in it with you. I do think it's important though as they get older to let them do their own things. If one wants to continue in on ballet and the other wants to do hip hop or gymnastics or whatever, then I will encourage them in their own paths so they can thrive at their own things and it doesn't have to be competitive (though I suspect this is in Arwen's personality and will carry through with her over the years).

    ETA: They do this thing in school which has been really cool about filling and emptying their bucket. When you compliment someone or you are helpful to them, it fills your bucket, but when you are not nice or insulting or not helpful then you are emptying your bucket (or something like that). So sometimes when Arwen pulls one of her mean acts, I remind her that she's "emptying her bucket" and she seems to get it because it's connected to vocabulary she's hearing all day at school (it's actually a thing they use for all the first grade classes so that does help).
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