Are you a caregiver or parent of twins? These quick tips for parents of twins will help you have the connected relationship you crave with each of your children!
As you may know, I have twins plus one! My singleton was 2 years old when my boy/girl twins were born (hello, 3 under 3!!), and I love to share my best twin tips!
These are also helpful if you have multiple children!
Best Tips for Parents of Twins:
1. Sing “Happy Birthday” Separately
They’re their own people. They’ll have to share plenty for the rest of their lives. At least give them each their own dang birthday song. No effort, but an important message. You’re your own person.
2. Let your twins have their own interests.
While it might be easier if our twins were interested in the same activities, I focus on remembering that it’s ok (and even important!) for them to have separate interests.
As my daughter said, “I’m just not a soccer loving girl.” And that’s ok! Her twin is a big time soccer lover, and they don’t have to like the same activities!
3. Don’t compare/rank their milestones.
Children will reach milestones in their own time. Differences can be more glaring as twins develop alongside one another.
Every child will have strengths, and every child will have areas where they need support. Nothing about child development is a competition – from walking to talking to how many hours they sleep at night. It’s NOT a reflection on your parenting or your child’s worth.
By all means, seek support and interventions if you have genuine concerns about your child’s development. However, ranking and comparing isn’t necessary. Your kids will unfold in their own time, and the pressure of comparison isn’t needed or helpful.
4. Don’t praise one twin to shame another into compliance.
I’m all for genuine praise and building up our kids for their successes! I love noticing and naming their amazing qualities and effort!! However, I don’t use inauthentic praise to intentionally shower one child with compliments in an effort to motivate the other child to comply. This will breed sibling rivalry.
Sibling rivalry is often rooted in how secure the child feels in their relationship with the parents.
Give all kids space to be fully accepted and loved as they are – don’t put kids in the position of feeling they have to compete with their twin to win the affection of their parent.
5. Be mindful of how you label kids.
Kids will become what we see in them and speak over them. Twins (and siblings) are keenly aware and can sense how we perceive and label them.
There’s a natural tendency to classify kids – “is he the shy one?” “is she the wild one?” Hold off on labels and remember that all people have layers to our personalities, needs, and identities. The world will often compare and seek to find labels for twins, so as a parent I make an extra effort to avoid this!
If a child is always told they are shy, they will behave in ways that are more cautious and hesitant in social settings. If a child is always told they are wild, their behaviors will reflect that.
They’re complex people. I avoid labeling any of the kids as the _____ one.
This leaves space open for them to grow into whoever they’re meant to be, without me speaking a label over them.