How do I discipline my 3-year-old twins?
Q: I have 3-year-old twin boys. They fight constantly. I have tried everything to discipline them but nothing works. When I put one in time-out, the other one is teasing or throwing things at him. But when I go stop the twin who is throwing, the other one then jumps out of the time-out chair. How do I discipline them?
A: Positive reinforcement works better than negative reinforcement in most sibling situations, including twins. Siblings need to be taught to be each other’s best friend. Sit down with the twins and set up a "best friends club." In order to be in the club, they have to be nice to each other and each other’s best friend. Establish the rules: no hitting, no tattling on each other, no teasing, no throwing things at each other, etc. Being in the "club" comes with special rewards, such as special weekend outings,, favorite meals, extra time with their favorite TV shows, family movie nights, etc. Best friends have more fun together than sibling rivals, so show them how much fun it can be to get along.
Answered by Dr. Harley A. Rotbart