Matching outfits, matching haircuts, matching bedrooms. It is hard not to make everything matchy matchy when you have a gorgeous set of twins or triplets. Sometimes it might even seem like you have one child when everything is exactly the same with them – except for the mess, they definitely will make more than one child’s worth of mess!
It can be hard at times when you are out and about and people see you with your multiples. Straight away there are the comments about them being alike and all the general twin/triplet based questions. The outside world may see them just as “twins/triplets” when they are younger, however, as a parent you need to ensure that you are seeing both of your children individually and encouraging them to be an individual.
During the ages of 2 to 4, our little ones are a bundle of information and development. They learn so much during this time and it is when they are shaping to be the person that they will grow into. If they are constantly being looked at as just a twin/triplet or in the shadow of their sibling this can affect their development and confidence as an individual. During these years it is crucial to help them to become their own person and flourish within themselves.
Here are some ways to help
Celebrating multiples birthdays
When celebrating birthdays for your multiples, a simple task as letting them have their own cakes is a step towards helping them be their own person. It is a time to celebrate them growing up and if they have their own cake they are going to feel the special event even more. Let them choose a cake that they like – they don’t have to match their sibling.
Allow your twins, triplets and more to play individually
Chances are your little ones play together a lot of the time (or argue together a lot of the time) This is awesome and the fact that they have a life in playmate is a once in a lifetime opportunity. They may, however, have different interests and these need to be identified and encouraged. If one wants to play with dolls and the other has no interest in them – do not force it. Find the toys that they like and let them use their imagination with those instead.
Have individual “dates” with your children
When possible try and have individual dates with your children. Leave one at home with hubby or the grandparents and take the other one out for a day with mummy and then switch the next time. Having one on one time with your children, especially during these developmental years is important and helps them to learn and grow.
Allow and encourage your multiples to have separate friends
If your little ones go to daycare or playgroup then the chances are that they will develop their own group of friends outside of each other. Being able to make friends on their own and create their own circle is important and helps with their confidence and social skills. A lot of the time they may be relying on their sibling for the support and not growing their own social skills.
It may seem easier and more simple to let them just be twins or triplets. To include them in everything and do everything the same and together. Having times of doing things together and the same is great and helps to grow their family connection, but they still need to have their own time and space. Encourage them to be themselves and to be an individual. You may end up with two completely different children and there is nothing wrong about that!
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