Monday 26 August 2013

Swapping personalities with your twin

As she went to bed tonight Miss E asked me a question and she was wearing her most serious face. She also looked pretty concerned as she said to me -

'Mummy, when did Miss M and I swap and I became the naughty one?'

It is at times like this that you realise her giggles and smiling face as she is told off are all a front and really she is taking in what you are saying. But before you worry, no we have not told her she is 'the naughty one' but it has definitely been commented by dh and I recently that her behaviour in general has been far more naughty. She has stopped listening, started to be very disobedient and is not really taking anything seriously.

Then by chance at the same point Miss M has started to behave better. I think she has finally learned her lesson and knows that her naughtiness and disobedience is not getting her anywhere and therefore why bother? Miss M has become incredibly loving and her helpful side is really showing itself and she is lapping up all the praise. After years to being really trying I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this positive change.

I know it had been a difficult time for them both over the last couple of months, first daddy moved to our new house a month earlier than us, then they left their school, friends, family and neighbourhood they have known all of their six years and now they are settling into a completely different way of life. Trying to navigate their way through what is acceptable and what is not. Where the boundaries are and why they are there are things really being tested by both girls at the moment.

I'm fully confident that once school commences and a routine establishes and Miss E starts to feel more secure again she will soon be back to her normal little loving, obedient and cheerful self. This time of mischievousness that she is going through may not be all bad anyway, she needs to toughen up and be able to face up to her gregarious brother and twin sister. Her past response has been to whine but I hope as she gains confidence she will be able to verbalise her frustrations more and to tell them to leave her alone. Assertiveness is a really positive attribute.

As I kissed Miss E tonight and laid down for a cuddle with her, I reassured her she is not a naughty girl. She has not traded personalities with her twin as she thought she might. She is just growing up and as part of growing up we change and we try out new things and we learn. We all make mistakes and that is OK, it is just important that she keeps talking to Mummy and Daddy and praying to Jesus that she is able to remember to listen to us more and to act on what we say. She has to fully realise that we have rules and boundaries for a reason and they are to protect her and allow her to grow in a safe environment.

After I came downstairs I recalled a conversation with a twin mum that I had just after my girls were born. She advised me never to label them and never to assume I knew their personalities, because as soon as I did that she said they would swap. Over the years we have found this to be really true, at first Miss E screeched all the time and then she started to sleep like a dream and was a little quiet and subdued poppet. Then in the last year or so we have seen her develop and grow and find her voice and independence but still she was well-behaved but now is her time to act-out a bit and to find out what is acceptable behaviour and what is not but she will be fine. We will steer her and keep her on the straight and narrow.

This parenting lark is not easy and you never quite know whether you are doing it right but with the help of the Lord we will keep on doing what feels right and try to help our children grow up to be caring, independent and decent adults.

If we manage that then I'll consider my job done.

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