4 ways to encourage individuality in multiples
Mother of twins shares lessons about how to help multiples explore their individual personalities.
Twins are certainly a package deal. They come into the world together, and grow up together. So it’s hard for others and us as parents, to acknowledge them as separate individuals.
But they are separate individuals! They each have their own quirks, their own strengths, their own talents and their own personalities. Even though a “twosome” from the beginning, it’s important to realize that each twin IS unique, and understanding that, and nurturing that will help each child develop healthy self-esteem.
In raising our twins, here are four things we have learned to help them grow their individual personalities.
1. Separate them in different bedrooms.
There is no right or wrong answer for this one. I think you as a parent will know when it’s time, or there ever will be a time. Mine separated at almost 5. It was a bit of a struggle for the first few days, but then it was great! They loved having their own space.
2. Make one-on-one time.
We incorporated “date nights,” where my daughter and I go do something and my son and husband have special time. Then we will alternate: I do something with my son, and my husband takes my daughter. As simple as this may sound, it is really hard to get these scheduled. But each time we do it, we realize what big difference these little outings make.
3. Encourage individual interests and activities.
As hard as it is logistically, once we began to do this, we truly saw their talents emerge. My daughter loves art and dance. My son loves sports. For a while we did joint soccer, joint gymnastics and joint ice skating. Having each choose an activity that interests “only” her or him and not the other twin really helped develop their personalities.
4. Separate them in school.
This one is a tough decision for every parent to make, but a great way to encourage individuality. When my twins started kindergarten, we made the decision to separate them. I was excited about it and looked forward to them making individual friends, and letting each of them shine, without being in the spotlight or shadow of the other twin. Of course, with that comes two teachers, and two sets of homework. But, if your twins are like mine – you have one twin with a dominant personality – I think this is in their best interests. It may not be for every set of multiples, but for us, it was the decision we made.
This post was written by Mandy Stribling, a Brentwood-based southern gal who loves decorating, fashion, blogging and celebrity gossip. She is a small business owner and a “MOM (Mom of Multiples)” to fantastic boy and girl twins, Josh and Jules. Visit her blog Mandy with Multiples.