This morning I watched Quinn stalk Teagan like a shark demanding whatever object Teagan was holding. Teagan stood strong running around the room with Quinn on her heels. Then, like a flip of a switch, Teagan dropped to her bum, looked up at Quinn and handed over their play spatula. Quinn walked off happily, dropping the spatula within seconds.
Quinn is a bully. She is strong-willed and demanding. It doesn't matter if the coveted toy is in the hands of a 3-year old boy, if she wants it, she will find a way to get it.
Teagan is not a push-over. Sometimes she clearly realizes that whatever toy she currently has isn't as important to her at that moment as it is to Quinn. She doesn't want to fight. She also adores her sister and will often hand over a toy without a thought if Quinn is upset.
I have watched similar scenarios, as the one described above, over a hundred times. Sometimes I would jump in, demanding that Quinn give the toy back to Teagan. I felt bad for Teagan. It looked like she was being walked all over. As the months wore on, I stopped interfering unless one was taking a hard object to the head of the other.
When we brought our 9-week old Finn home, Aunt Gillian did not hesitate to let him know who was boss. She did the same to Riley a few years prior. Once they knew that she was top dog, they were able to spend extended periods of time together very easily. If you're a dog owner, you might understand. At the dog park, we leave the dogs to work out on their own, within reason of course. In a way, children are the same. While I would never let my children bite or hit a child at the park, I don't feel the need to step in and micromanage their play. The problem is that many other parents do.
In any twin pairing, one twin will be more dominant. I don't think I really thought about that when I was feeling sorry for Teagan. She is such a happy child and has no problems standing up for herself when she feels strongly about something. Their personalities will naturally shine through, especially in social settings. If all children were as strong-willed as Quinn, play groups would be nuts! With that being said, I've seen Quinn go after a toy being held by an equally strong-willed child. If the child is bigger than she is, Quinn is usually put in her place, as she should be.
Now, before mindlessly stepping into Teagan and Quinn's battle, I observe. They are who they are and sometimes upon further thought, I realize that interfering could do more harm than good.