If you’re expecting or have twins or triplets, chances are that you’re delighted but also wondering how you’re going to juggle the needs of your instant family. After all, most new parents have their hands full with just one child! The reality is that raising multiples is hard. You’ll have double or triple the feeding, diapering, and laundry, and less time to spend cuddling and getting to know each child. Indeed, there are days when you’ll feel like you’re walking up a down escalator. Fortunately, there are ways to plan so you can enjoy your babies once they arrive and ways you can raise twins too.
Here is a great strategy to raise twins:
Allow them to express their individuality.
One important thing I learned over the years with my twins was to recognize each one’s talents. Identity can become an issue even if they look nothing alike. Taking the time to give them individual choices, express their feelings, and letting them know their opinions matter became very important.
Don’t try to be a hero
When your twins arrive, you will have plenty of well-wishers coming to coo over your precious wee babes. Ask each visitor to bring something with them; dinner, cake, groceries, etc. or while they are visiting get them to help to fold the washing or unstack the dishwasher for you. As time goes on and offers of lasagne for the freezer will lessen, still ask for help. My hero last week was a random lady in the supermarket who pushed my trolley to the car and put the shopping in the car as I held two squirmings (who am I kidding – fully melting down) toddlers.
Our society seems fixated on giving everyone a label. Old, young, tough, shy, successful, etc. Twins are no exception.
While twins share many things in common, they are often labeled by their differentiators. “The Quiet One.” “The Funny One.” “The Spirited One.” Those labels might seem harmless but being compared to others, even the person closest to you or the one that looks like you – can be an ego blow and a fire starter for a feud.
Even good labels like smart, brainy, or talented are hard titles to live up to. What’s more, a positive label for one child automatically implies the other holds the opposite label.
Plan individual quality time
Plan for quality time alone with each child. Some quality playtime activities, such as sitting and talking, sharing a book, playing a game or going to the market, provide the individual attention that children need. The goal is to give each child life experiences that are fun and appropriate for them. Twins have a tendency, especially in the early years, to be very dependent upon each other. Time apart helps develop a separate identity.
You’ll Have To Buy Two of Everything
This part is very real. While parents of singles can buy one crib and then save it for their next if they plan on having a second, parents of multiples have to buy two of everything because they’ll need it at the same time. However, this isn’t all bad. When your kids grow up, it’ll come in handy. Did one twin forget their math book at school? No problem just share the other twin’s book.
Become a logistics expert
You likely already know that it can be a logistical nightmare to get two or three young children out the door. Succeeding at this requires being a part orchestra conductor, part astronaut. Systems are your friends. Here are some suggestions to try:
- Create away spots for everything so you can grab all the items you need quickly.
- Stock up on supplies
- Have separate bags already packed with water, snacks, diapers, spare clothes, and distraction toys and either leave them by the door or in the car if they won’t freeze out there.
- Leave food and water for yourself in your stroller or vehicle, just in case! Replenish that weekly.
- Have out-the-door routines that include transition signals so your children know it will be time to go soon.
Parents can only teach and protect their children so much, what comes after that? Children will need to learn from a preschool where they can socialise and learn in a structured and safe environment.