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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mo-om! Don't You Ever Knock?

When do children start wanting alone time?  When do they start needing it? I know I sometimes complain about my kids being underfoot, but recently I've had cause to wonder, are they complaining about me being overfoot? And what about each other? As twins, are they sick of playing together all day every day?

I grew up in a family without much privacy.  We never shut our bedroom doors, my brother and sister and I played together, worked together, did chores together, watched television together.  We did everything together. It was never a big deal, but in my adulthood, I've learned that many people (most people, probably) need more privacy than I do.

Yesterday, the girls and I had a full afternoon.  We went to three different places, getting in and out of the car each time (no easy feat). The girls were perfect, making friends, behaving beautifully.  When we got back home, however, for the first time in her life, Natalina took a toy, brought it to her bedroom, shut the door, and started playing quietly by herself.  Dulce, who's been the clingier twin in recent memory, contentedly watched a little TV and played with blocks in the living room, making sure I was in sight.

This marks a huge change, since previously, they would freak out if in a different room.  In fact, they've never even been in a different room from one another.  Yesterday was the first time, and it was by choice.

I would amble over and crack open the door, in case she wanted to come out.  She did not protest, but 30 seconds later I would hear the door click shut again, and she would continue on with her game.

This went on for about 20 minutes, and it's left me confused.  Do toddlers need privacy? Do they also want alone time? And if they do, are twins at a disadvantage because their parents and the rest of the world assume they'll want to be together always?

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  1. You know, I think they sometimes do need some privacy or maybe some down time. I know my own 2 year old will occasionally order me out of her room and then does her own thing for a bit (normally she's insanely clingy). I have to admit, when it happens, I kinda sit there at loose ends and don't quite know what to do with myself because I'm so used to a toddler hanging off of me at all times. That being said, I think if they need privacy, they're perfectly capable of telling you that. Maybe it's not privacy that your twins wanted, but after such a full day, they were feeling the need for a little down time?

  2. I think it goes along with the "do it myself" developmental thing. Ready for some time on their own to do their own thing. My two year old does it, too.

  3. I agree, I think most people want a little alone time, at least once in awhile. My youngest son is almost 2 and clingy (he gets mad when his brother sits on my lap, apparently that spot is reserved for him only). But more and more lately, he will go upstairs to his room by himself and play with his toys. When I check on him, he smiles at me but continues to play alone.



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