Twins may have a lot of similarities, yet they are individuals with their own distinct identities. Read below how you can foster individuality in twins.
A&A have turned three years old now. On their last birthday, we gave them two different presents of their choice but we got only one cake to cut. And not even once did it click us that they would probably like to have their own cakes, which they can cut on their own without sharing with anyone. Honestly, we thought we’re making them feel special by getting in a big twin-themed cake but we missed it here. And we didn’t realise it till one of them asked outrightly- ‘where is my cake’. Ms A. simply refused to share the cake with her brother and we had a tough time persuading her.
Intentionally or unintentionally we often view twins as a ‘pair’. They do almost similar activities and follow each other in many aspects of their childhood. But we can’t ignore the fact that they are two individuals with their own interests and choices.
As a parent of twins, it’s important we encourage individuality in twins and help them gain a sense of self. This doesn’t mean that we do not celebrate their special twin bond but while doing so we also need to understand the fact that they may have contrasting opinions and likings.
Many twins and multiples eventually create an individual identity for themselves as they grow up. But as parents there are a lot of things we can do to help them build it (especially in the toddler years) . Read below some simple ways and tips that help me treat my twins as two individuals and not as a ‘twin set’.
Encouraging Individuality In Twins
Cultivate Individual Interests and Hobbies
Each child is unique and has his/her own set of interests and choices. As a parent, it’s important to let each child choose things/hobbies based on his/her interest. My son enjoys craft (cutting, sticking etc) while my girl likes art (colouring/painting), so at home I involve them in activities based on their liking. For outdoor classes, currently they go to same activity classes which involves a bit of both art and craft, but in future I plan to sign them up for two different classes purely based on their interests.
Spend One-On-One Time With Each Twin
Spending individual time with each twin not just helps in strengthening the parent-child bond but also builds a strong sense of self in the kid. He/she gets to enjoy the undivided attention of parent and that helps the child to make individual connections.I usually spend one on one time with one kid while the other is busy in an activity or is sleeping.
Do Not Compare
We often end up comparing twins with each other. One is slow, the other is fast. One eats well the other doesn’t. It’s important to view each child in his own capacity and right and not in relation to the other. Because that not just makes things complicated for the parents but also difficult for the kids who are just trying to be their own unique self.
Praise Each Twin
Provide individual praise and affection to each twin. It is important that both children receive their fair share of praise and love. Everytime I praise my twins, I do it one by one taking their name and hugging them individually. That makes the child feel special and exclusive.
Even though twins share the same birth date and also the birthday celebrations (especially in the initial years), there are ways to make them feel special individually. Let each of them cut their own birthday cake (as per the flavour/theme of their choice). Sing the Happy Birthday song twice for each kid. And also give them two different presents as per their likings.
Buy Toys Based On Their Interests Instead Of Going For Two Of Everything
Give each child toys depending on his/her interest. Doubling up on toys would not only double the expenses but also won’t serve the purpose if they aren’t as per the choice of the kids. My son likes vehicles and ride-ons whereas my girl enjoys pretend play kits. So we prefer getting the toys as per their liking. That ways they get a variety in the house and also learn to share and play together.
Did you find this article useful? How do you try to foster individuality in your twins? Share in the comments below. Also feel free to share this post with anyone you think would find it helpful.