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How do I cope with 2 1/2-year-old twins who break everything?

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How do I cope with 2 1/2-year-old twins who break everything?


I appreciate your frustration. However, there's a technical term for your toddlers' behavior that you should be aware of. It's called "normal."

Rambunctious 2-year-olds love to explore. They don't understand the consequences of their actions and have difficulty controlling their impulses. That's why talking to them and giving them time-outs haven't worked.

The best way to handle this problem is through what's called "environmental control." You should toddler-proof your house in much the same way that you baby-proofed it when your twins were younger.

Move everything that's breakable at least a foot out of their reach. Put latches or other safety devices on cabinets, toilets, electrical outlets, and doors. Put gates up on staircases. Make sure that all their toys have no sharp edges, are sturdily made, and are too big to swallow.

At the same time, encourage your children to explore using things that are difficult to break. (These don't have to be expensive toys. I'm a big fan of such things as different size plastic measuring cups and empty plastic soda bottles with the caps discarded.) That should give them more of what they're craving and also lower the stress level in your house.


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