It’s only natural that siblings fight, and twins likely more so due to their constant closeness. As parents, we play a crucial role during their childhood in helping our young twins understand social behavior, especially in regard to forming healthy relationships with their siblings and those around them. Whether we think so or not, we play an important role in developing our twins’ personalities and characters. However, one of the biggest challenges is to figure out how to help each twin begin to develop into someone who can express their feelings, empathize with others’ feelings, and be cooperative, generous and kind.
First of all, let’s change the way we think about twins so that others will follow suit, thinking of them as double blessings. Begin to speak of your twins as double blessings and as you think it, you will believe it and receive all of the goodness in having twins, seriously this is not a mantra…..it’s the truth; from one twin mama to another.
Many people reference twins as double trouble. As an outsider, they witness parents of twins constantly trying to juggle everything, from delivering two at a time, buckling two in car seats for any trip, near or far, packing a diaper bag for two, changing and feeding two at a time, and the list goes on. To them (and yes, even sometimes to us!), it does feel like a lot of trouble. Sure, the saying sounds funny and catching, (it’s even the most popular description of twins besides “Thing 1 and Thing 2”), but the only thing that can make trouble with twins worse than anyone else’s child raising troubles are that there are two children growing at the same time, age, and in some cases with the same or perhaps different challenges, interests and learning levels.
Surprisingly, It isn’t always the nice man or lady in the supermarket to reference your twins as “double trouble” and ask about all of the possible sibling rivalry issues. Extended family and close friends can also play this part. Most will also anticipate the troubled behavior without remembering all of the great things that should be happening when doubled with love. It then becomes your job to be the active voice of double blessings and speak on all of the ways your twins are bonded.
Sharing your positive experience may in fact teach the seasoned parents a thing or two. We are all parents and being a parent to twins does not necessarily make us a super parent, but we should try to help others understand that twins can be seen as special bonded siblings, those who have spent their first moments together and should continue to find ways to love each other and keep that special friendship forever.
When looking at the art of sharing, I’ve got a few tricks I have learned during my four years of being a mom of twin girls and hope they can help you out, too.
Opportunities begin shortly after birth!
As soon as your twins begin to notice each other, provide opportunities for them to interact using toys that they can share, such as sorter blocks, rolling ball games, books that you all can read together, and the following of teddy or another toy from one child to the other. The important thing to remember is that when they’re young, that you or your partner play a key role in enforcing and teaching the art of sharing. This is even something to make sure you’re modeling in the home with your partner and with the twins’ siblings if they have them. Sharing won’t come naturally until much later.
Embrace their individuality.
With twins comes a natural instinct to make them do the same, wear the same or be the same, but you should resist this urge. Embrace and encourage their differences while embracing their bond at the same time. Since twins naturally share things from the time they are conceived, it’s okay to let them have their own things sometimes. Perhaps due to space in your home, they share a bedroom. This doesn’t also mean they have to share everything in it. They each can have things special to them, like a toy, favorite game or books, and so on.
Model manners from the start.
We should always be thankful for all of our blessings, correct; so try to be fair to your twins in teaching them manners from an early age. They will model your behavior if you remind them of saying “thank you”, even and especially with their own twin. Many researchers think that twins come by sharing more naturally, as they have a constant companion with whom they can practice playing and sharing. This may be so, but any parent of twins knows there will be some battles in the mix, too. By teaching them to share, take turns and be grateful by using manners, they’ll be off to a great start in life.
As your twins begin to grow older, they will begin to express role play and the desire to use their imagination. This is the perfect time to promote teamwork, directing them towards theme playing such as restaurant chefs, barbers, designers or hairdressers. Take advantage of that constant companion in role playing situations together.
Always remember to praise them.
Of course, your twins will have differences; they’re two different kids. A good consistent reminder that they will need to work out the problem themselves (while you observantly sit on the sidelines) will work wonders. Just be sure to show praise when they have it all figured out. That’s no easy task for most, and especially young children.
In all situations, being consistent and true to keeping the peace by embracing sibling love will manifest those double blessings to realize that everyone is interested in hanging around people who get along best!