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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