Entries tagged with “twin individuality”.
Did you find what you wanted?
Tue 26 Oct 2010
Twin Friendships are relatively easy to manage when twins are very young, but as twins get a little bit older, twin friendships can really be a challenge. Like many things twin, the dynamic is different with each unique set of twins, but there are many common twin friendship struggles.
These struggles get introduced when twins venture into new territory where new friendships can develop — such as school, sports, church, and other extra curricular activities. These opportunities open the doors to meeting new kids and often times bring separate exposure to new kids. Whereas in the early years, twins are frequently introduced to new friends at the same time, and have the same opportunities for becoming friends. Friendships in the early years are often (not always) formed almost as a unit. Both twins are friends with another child (or another set of twins). Yet, even with these shared friends, struggles may begin to arise as children get a little bit older and want to stake a claim to a particular shared friend.
One Twin’s Friend
Even in the closest twin bond, when one twin makes a new friend that the other twin may not have been introduced to, or who has had limited exposure to, feelings can get hurt. No one wants to feel like the 3rd wheel. Unfortunately, this circumstance is very common with twins. One twin will often feel like the odd man out. Twins who once got along beautifully are now struggling. This shows itself in many ways, from temper tantrums to sabotage.
Helping a twin cope
Parents need to be keenly aware of new friendships and help twins work through feelings of being shut out. This might take the form of a special activity for the other twin to enjoy when their sibling is having a special playdate. Parents can also actively search out opportunities for the other twin to make individual friendships of their own. But probably most important, is encouraging your child to talk about her feelings. Help her to put herself into her twin’s place and explore those feelings, as well as putting herself into the new friends’ position.
Helping a twin to be empathetic
But the burden of understanding should not be placed solely on the other twin. The twin that is in the process of forming a separate friendship can use some coaching at this critical point as well. Talk with him about friendships and empathy. “How do you think it feels for Sally, now that you have a new friend? You don’t have to give up your new friendship, but how can you make her feel better along the way?” Helping your children through to deeper understanding is critical in their development into caring young people.
Ultimately, you cannot control your children’s friendships. But, you can be there to be a listening ear. You can encourage your twins to talk about their feelings — with you and with each other. You can help them develop a deeper understanding of their twin bond and begin to develop empathetic feelings for others. You can help them to understand that their actions and friendships are not totally about themselves. Before you know it, they will have many types of friendships and will be caring young adults.
copyright 2010 – TwinParenthood / Kathryn Whiteley
Mon 3 May 2010
Posted by KathrynWhiteley under Twin Tips - Infants
The age at which twins, triplets or more begin to notice each other and interact varies widely. A lot depends on how closely you keep your twins in proximity to each other. Do they share the same crib? Do you place them side by side on the floor for tummy time? or under an arch for overhead play time? These factors all can influence their interactions.
Some twins are aware of their twin from day one. Parents of multiples have reported their twins crying more when separated from their sibling.
Hospitals in Europe have long practiced co-bedding of multiples because of the reported benefits for the infants, which include improved weight gain and growth as well as a reduction in physiological stress. Hospitals in the United States have begun to follow suit. However, hospitals in both countries are rethinking their policies.
More recent reports indicate that co-bedding can increase the chances of SIDS, although some sources attribute the higher incidence of SIDS among multiples to be primarily related to low birth weight and not necessarily co-sleeping. A commentary published in the journal “Pediatrics” on November 30, 2007 titled, “Cobedding Twins and Higher-Order Multiples in a Hospital Setting” concludes:
“Although cobedding multiples has become more widely practiced in hospitals in the United States, neither the safety nor the benefit of this practice has been documented in the published literature. Parents should be encouraged to follow established safe-sleep practices for infants at home.”
Even if you decide against co-bedding your twins, you can encourage their interactions by keeping the cribs close to each other in the bedroom. During activity time, you can encourage interactions by placing your twins together on the floor, side-by-side in the stroller, and holding them face to face with another adult.
No matter what age your twins begin responding to each other, it will happen sooner or later. It would be pretty tough to grow up as a twin without forming a strong twin relationship that involves playing, fighting, and emotional support. As parents of twins, we long for the day when we see the twin bond developing — and some of us must be more patient than others.
Copyright 2010 Kathryn Whiteley — TwinParenthood.com
Wed 21 Oct 2009
Posted by KathrynWhiteley under Twin Life, Twin Tips
If there is one major thing lacking in families with twins, triplets, or more, it is time.
I often wish I had more time to give to my kids. And of course, with twins, there is the added need for individual time. One-on-one time is what twins crave.
So how do you do it? How do you make sure each twin or higher order multiple is getting their share of one-on-one time?
You must be deliberate about it. You have to plan for it.
If you “just” have twins, the old “divide and conquer” method is fabulous. Dad takes one twin, Mom takes the other, and off you go to run your errands. Each child is getting one-on-one time with a parent, and your errands are getting done twice as fast than if you go do them as a family.
Some will argue this is not “quality” time, and that is true. But it is still time spent where the child is ”just” a child for a little while — and not a twin. There is a big benefit for the child in doing every day activities where they are without their twin for a bit.
But what if you have more than “just” twins? It starts to get complicated quickly and keeping track to make sure everyone is getting their share is painful.
In our house, we established a chart for each parent. Down the side we placed each child’s name, a repeating pattern down the page. We added columns for “Date of Trip” and “Where They Went”. A simple chart. Each time a child goes somewhere alone with mom or dad, we jot a quick note on the chart.
This chart has eliminated so many arguments! The kids no longer bicker over who gets to go with Mom or Dad — they just run over to the chart to see “who’s up”.
Over time, you can review the chart to see how often you are actually making time for individual trips with each kid. Sometimes it is shocking to see how long it has been since we went somewhere alone with any of ours. Having it in black and white, we are confronted with the fact that we are not doing well, and then we can again be deliberate about making it happen.
Of course, we also make sure each kid is getting their share of quality outings alone with Mom or Dad. But we save those for extra special rewards. Most of our quality outings are family outings – and that’s what we prefer — a strong family.
Copyright 2009 – twinParenthood.com / Kathryn Whiteley
How about you? What do you do to make sure each twin is getting alone, one-on-one time with Mom & Dad?
Sat 19 Sep 2009
Posted by KathrynWhiteley under Twin Life
Nearly everyone has heard of “The Twin Bond”
I find the concept of the twin bond very interesting, and we see it from a unique perspective in our household. Since we have two sets of twins, we often feel that we have our own little science experiment going on in our house. Here are some of the interesting aspects about our laboratory:
|Twin Set 1
||Twin Set 2
- Look Different
- Act Differently
- Look the Same
- Act Similarly
The twin bond is an amazing thing. I can say from our own experience that it will vary from one set of twins (triplets, or higher order multiples) to another. And in our family, of course, each individual child has a relationship with each individual. But, we also have the added factor of the bond between the sets of twins. It’s wonderful to see.
Our boys are bonded, but not nearly so much as our girls. Is that because they are fraternal? Yes, I think partly so. Is it because they are boys? Yes, I think partly so. They tend to be more competitive than our girls (with each other, with family, with friends, etc.). They get into tussles every day. They’re starting to be aware that boys don’t show affection to other boys in our society.
But, there are also events in their lives that put their bond on display for all to see. For example, at school last year they took a field trip to the beach. The boys were assigned into two separate groups as they explored, looking for sea creatures. Trevin discovered a geoduck (“gooey-duck”). He was so excited that he immediately started calling for his brother — who was nearly a mile down the beach.
Our girls are tightly bonded. I grew up in a family with two older brothers. I admit that I never even thought about, or missed, having a sister — until now. I see the beautiful relationship that my girls have and realize that I would have liked having that. They play together all day and rarely fight.
Last week, Jessica was home from school with the flu. She had been throwing up and I was sitting with her, comforting her. She looked at me, tears welled up into her eyes, and she exclaimed, “I want Sammie!” Later, at the dinner table that night, we asked Samantha how it went at school without her sister. Sammie’s chin started to quiver, then big tears rolled down her face. “I missed Jessica!” she exclaimed.
We are truly blessed in our family. Our God is a generous and amazing God.
How about you? Are your twins tightly bonded? or less so? How do they show it?
Copyright 2009 – twinParenthood.com / Kathryn Whiteley
Mon 10 Aug 2009
Posted by KathrynWhiteley under Twin Tips
I’m amazed how frequently we are asked “Which twin was born first?”
In the early months and years with twins, triplets, or higher order multiples, people “ooo and ahh” over them. Many will ask, “Are they twins?” and comment “You’ve really got your hands full”. But as my twins have grown older, we are asked more and more often, “Who was born first?”. As I have watched the competition between my children grow as they get older, I have contemplated the impact of this question upon my multiples.
When I was asked to write a guest post for Mad About Multiples, the official blog of Gemini Crickets Parent of Multiples Club of Silicon Valley, I knew what subject I wanted to write about.
Of all the questions twin, triplet, or higher order multiples’ parents receive with fairly regular frequency, this question, “Who was born first?” is one that can impact the kids’ relationship with each other, within the family, and on their self esteem. On the surface, it seems like an innocent enough question – doesn’t it? When they’re infants, they can’t understand the question or the answer and it’s no big deal – right? But, what about when they are little bit older and beginning to understand conversations around them? It is my belief that knowing the answer, and hearing the question asked can make everyone but the first born feel inferior.
Read more on my guest post at Gemini Crickets–>