I don’t know if it’s because she’s a girl, or because she’s “baby A”, or because this is just who she is, but Tiny is definitely the alpha twin in our house. She commands her brother, Buba, to do things (Buba, come!), to get things (Go get monkey!), and to give up things (I need to have baby now!). And most of the time, her requests are granted.
There’s a part of me that likes how assertive and strong-willed Tiny is, as I was quite mousy as a child. However, at the same time, I don’t like to see Buba getting pushed around all the time. My husband and I have tried to get Tiny to be less demanding, and at the same time, get Buba to be more assertive, but it’s not working all that well. For example, if Tiny takes a toy that Buba is playing with, we’ll make her give it back. But often, Buba won’t take it back, and if he does, he’ll only play with it a few more seconds before dropping it and moving on to something else.
We’ve also tried coaching Buba through some of these situations. Like the times when Tiny will grab him by the arm and demand that he follow her somewhere. We’ll say to him, “Tell her no. Tell her you want to keep playing with [whatever he happens to be playing with].” But 9 times out of 10, he just abandons his own activity and goes wherever she takes him.
Sometimes, I wish they were a bit older so I could ask Buba how he really feels about all this. I’ve noticed within the last month or so, that he really seems to want more time to himself. But at the same time, he hates to see Tiny upset. And I wonder if, at 2 years old, he’s already decided that he’d rather comply with her requests than see her unhappy.
Leave it alone? Keep trying to intervene? What would you/do you do when this happens in your house?