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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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I have twins that couldnt be more different in terms of personality.

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I have twins that couldn't be more different in terms of personality. My wife an I go out of our way to keep things fair between them in terms of how they are treated and what they receive (birthday gifts, attention, clothes. ect) however we are struggling with the differences in behavior. One daughter is attentive, polite, studious and caring. The other is bossy, physical (hits when she doesn't get her way), disrespectful, she cheats during games and she steals money. My wife and I are constantly disciplining her with few results. This past summer, the girls had to earn money over the summer in order to pay for their summer camp at an equestrian riding camp. One daughter read over 50 books and wrote over 50 book reports ($5 for a book and $5 for a book report is the deal that I made with the two of them) the other begged her grandmother and grandfather to gift here the money which they did. Now that Christmas is coming up, I am thinking that we should stop giving them the same results (same gifts) for different behaviors and wanted a professional opinion. I am torn between incentivising the behaviors that I want and traumatizing her on Christmas.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 4 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. How old are the twins? Do the twins get along with each other? Thanks!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
They are 9 and not always. The one is physical, bossy, demeaning and sometimes mean with the other.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 4 years ago.
Do you and your spouse spend quality time alone with them individually?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes, we have individual "daddy" days where we go for a bike ride or go see a play or a movie and Mommy days, the girls all like to ride. Mommy sometimes takes them out horseback riding individually or shopping.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 4 years ago.
Hello and thank you for responding. Even though you do have twins, you do need to treat them as individuals. Your more aggressive twin is trying to assert her individuality and break away from the twin stereotypes. Twins can be each other's best friends and worst enemies. You must continue to spend individual time with them. Also, your more hostile twin must learn that there are consequences for her negative behavior. Do in fact give them different gifts and the like. She is trying to be manipulative and still get what she wants even though she is not deserving. You may also want to enlist the assistance of a neutral third party like a counselor or psychologist who can talk with your daughter to see what is really frustrating her. She may open up more to non relative who may view the situation differently. Also, family therapy sessions may help as well. Your daughter is obviously wanting attention but is seeking it through negative actions. Since your reinforcement techniques have provided little success, the counseling route may help.
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