Ask Joanne: My Twin Boys Have Tantrums

07/03/2010 21:04 | Updated 22 May 2015

What's your dilemma about any aspect of life as a parent? Our experienced life coach Joanne Mallon is here to answer your questions. Send your questions in here and say if you'd like your name to be changed.

Ella asks:

I am a mum of 22-month-old twin boys, and every time we go out, ie shopping in town or anywhere, adults will come up to them and say hello and they'll go mad. They both have tantrums, leaving me with no alternative but to stay at home as everyone just stares in disbelief. I feel that everyone is looking at me as much to say, "Oh look she can't cope with her children".

They don't like men, but I think the problem may stem from when they were newborns and everyone would stare at them asking if they are twins! Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Here's the life coach's reply:

Dear Ella

I've asked twins expert Linda Jones of Got Your Hands Full for her advice on this, and this is what she says:

It's such a shame that you are letting other people's curiosity put you off getting out and about, your boys obviously don't like being the centre of attention, and who can blame them?

Don't feel bad. Attention can be hard enough to deal with when you are 42 let alone 22 months. Please do not think you are alone in having to deal with these comments and stares and please get it out of your head that people are inevitably thinking you can't cope.

Having two babies to look after means twice the stress and if people can't take this on board, that's their look out. I'd like to see a world where instead of staring, pointing or making ridiculous (however well meant) comments, onlookers could offer to help someone with twins as they struggle to negotiate their pushchairs in shops/narrow pavements or brave public transport.

You are achieving a hell of a lot by getting out and about and looking after your boys, congratulate yourself on this and be kinder to yourself. Perhaps if people look like they are heading your way to make comments about your sons, just tell them politely and firmly you are in a rush and don't have time to chat. You can see some favourite things said to twin parents here.

I do hope it gets easier for you. As a mum of older twins, I can tell you it will. Hang on in there and care less about what other people think – I wish I had learned this earlier. Good luck

And just to add to Linda's excellent advice, I think any mum of a 22-month-old finds it difficult to negotiate shopping. I know it's not always practical to avoid these situations, but if you can do online shopping or go alone, it will make life a lot easier. And though you are assuming that people think you can't cope, remember that many of them are also full of admiration because you're coping so well.

Best wishes,


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