Tips To Bring Up Twins
You may be blessed with everything twice as nice but raising twins takes effort, patience and a good sense of humour. They may look alike but they are unlikely to have the exact same weight, temperaments and personalities.
Here are a few tips on how to bring up twins:
- Be prepared financially. Your monthly budget needs to be wide enough to accommodate the two-of-everything – from twice the number of diapers to school tuition fees.
- Be practical. If you are having a boy and a girl, buy some clothes that are interchangeable. They outgrow them very fast and, if they spit up a lot, you will just be happy you have put clean clothes on them.
- Acknowledge their separate identities. They are different people. They will become well rounded grown ups if you acknowledge them as individuals right from the beginning. They will have different strengths and different weaknesses.
- Merge schedules. Feed them and then nap them at the same time. If one wakes up early, wake the other one up to keep them in sync and give you a break. The most important aspect of the schedule is having a consistent wake time and bedtime and keeping the bedtime routine the same (the same room, the same level of lighting, the same sounds, the same pre-bedtime rituals, etc).
- Get out. Get a good stroller. Your stroller is your chance to be out and mobile with kids. This would keep them occupied, entertained and allow you to get back your life in tiny bits.
- Get home delivery service for as much as possible. Get your groceries, medicines, diapers, wipes and milk to your doorstep. Conserve energy as much as possible.
- Keep toys separate. Separate but equal should be your mantra when it comes to toys, blankets, and other such possessions. Children can’t share unless they experience ownership. If everything belongs to both of them it’s difficult for them to experience ownership individually.
- Build individual relationships. Make sure your relationship with the two of them is separate individually. Acknowledge and praise them but understand at some point of time one may need more attention than the other.
- Resist comparison. Despite the fact that your twins were born at the same time, and may even look similar, they will not necessarily develop at the same rate.
- Prepare for the sibling rivalry. There will be fights from a very young age. Decrease the rivalry by spending equal time with each child. Be careful not to play favourites. Learn what causes conflict and fighting between your children. Ask yourself questions about your children’s unhappiness. Does one twin feel favoured? Does one twin have more than the other? Understand your children’s actions and reactions to one another.
- Don’t allow them to become overly dependent on one another. When busy parents allow their twins to keep each other company and entertain one another for long periods of time, this can hamper their emotional development. Too much time together creates an interdependence, which is hard to unwind. This can affect their school achievement and social skills.
- Don’t always dress them alike. Buy your children their own clothes as per their choices. Individuality is extremely important to establish early in life so dress them alike only if they request to be dressed alike for a special event or occasion.
- Understand the relationship between them. Take some time to understand the twin attachment by observing your children and watching how they relate to one another. Twins have a deep bond, which even the parents can sometimes not fathom.
- Choose healthy discipline. When twins fight with one another parents tend to become frustrated. Some parents will punish or discipline both children to avoid looking into the problem more seriously. Other parents see one child as the bad one or the troublemaker, and the other one as the child who can do no wrong. Both of these strategies are very harmful to your children’s emotional well-being. It is important to talk to each child and set different consequences for each time.
- Don’t encourage attention from others. People often stare at twins with curiosity. But it is vital to try and limit these intrusions as best you can because this attention can make them feel like freaks. Don’t club them together as “Twins”. Mention them separately by their individual names.
- Build a support system. Knowing you have friends, family or other people to help hold the babies, drop off meals, clean the house, watch the kids is extremely important.
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