Helping Your Twins Recognize Individuality in Themselves and Their Twin

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Posted on: 27 December 2016

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Helping Your Twins Recognize Individuality in Themselves and Their Twin Raising twins is a joy and a challenge, wrapped up into two sweet packages. There are many failings we make as parents and when parenting twins, the pitfalls are many. Here are a few ideas on how to avoid these challenges when you have a set of twins under your roof. Give Them Specific Compliments Avoid the temptation to use your favourite compliments over and over. All parents have and use these. Avoid “great job” as an everyday compliment, and instead point out specific character traits when you are encouraging each of your twins. Try, “Anna, I love how you are so courageous when you are faced with a challenge” or, “William, I’m so pleased with how generous you are to your friends… you inspire me in this area” instead of the worn-out cliches that do not really say much at all to your child, and that make them feel generic. Lay Off the Matching Everything Although it is fun to dress up your little human dolls when they are young, quit this habit before your children are old enough to be annoyed with it. Don’t let your tweens feel obligated to dress in identical outfits for family photos or school concerts. Let each child show their individuality in every way, including how they dress. In the same way, don’t buy your children the same gifts. There is nothing more insulting than to receive a gift that your sibling wanted. Let your children live as two distinct beings with their own personal taste and style. Don’t Compare Comparing can result in two extremes… children trying to be completely different from each other, or children trying to be completely the same. When you compare your twins, you are essentially saying that they should be more alike. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you want to cultivate originality among your twins, stop comparing them. Recognize that each one is an individual human being with their own goals, and then remember that this is very healthy. Refer to Them as Individuals and Not a Pair Don’t call your children “the twins.” As much as you may feel you are saving time by doing this, or are simply using the term because of habit, it can be very annoying for a child to hear someone refer to them as one of “the twins” as though they have no personal identity of their own. A good rule of thumb is to refer to them in the same way as you would refer to any two of your children. This could be anything from calling them “my kids” to the best way, which is using their names. Don’t Assume They Will Be Best Friends Of course your twins are going to share a special bond with each other. It is a well-known fact that twins have something special between them, and this will never change. But don’t take their friendship for granted. Leave them room to cultivate other friendships and broaden their world. Your twins will enrich their lives through these other relationships, and will also appreciate each other more when they can spend time apart with others. Being the parents of twins is no easy task; however, it is a great privilege to be responsible for them. Raise your child to appreciate himself and his twin, and you will see the fruit of your encouragement as they grow older. You will feel full of joy as you witness your twins growing into two intertwined but complete and healthy individuals.

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