Raising identical twins: Parenting identical twin boys and girls
When you are raising identical twins, there are a few things you need to work on in order to make them comfortable with the persons that they are. You need to help them establish a strong sense of self worth. Self worth is basically the sense of your own value or worth as a person. It’s about what you are, as opposed to what you can do (self-esteem). Read more about the importance of self worth and have a look at these 5 ways of building up your children’s self worth.
1. Try not to compare
It IS hard not to compare your children when you’re raising identical twins. They’ve got almost the same genetic makeup, they’ve shared a womb, they are the same age and they (usually) grow up in the same family. Even when you notice their differences you are, in a way, comparing them. There’s nothing wrong with being open about what they’re good at and what they’re not good at, but don’t do it in comparison to their twin brother or sister. You can’t shield them from being compared by the outer world, but you can build them a stronger foundation by making sure that they’re not compared within the family.
2. Treat your twins differently
Some twin parents worry about differential treatment and are, as a result, very focused on equality. Remember that your children are not the same and should not be treated in the same way. One may respond well to verbal reminders, the other might need a consequence. It’s okay to differentiate when raising identical twins. Your children are not the same person and should not be treated as such.
3. Spend time with each of them
Spend some alone-time with each of your children. They need to feel that they’re special to you regardless of their sister or brother. Spending a little time alone with each one of them will give you experiences that are “just yours” and enable stronger bonds to grow between you and your children.
4. Don’t label
When one of your children are faster at learning something, for instance to read or write, don’t label him or her as “the clever one.” Fast doesn’t necessarily equals better and you will be confining your children if you label them. Teach them that what they practice, they’ll be good at.
5. Think about how you react
You’ve probably already received loads of questions like “Who is the quiet one?” or “who is more outgoing?” Don’t participate in these conversations, especially not if your children are present. Simply state that you are trying not to compare them (most people will understand this).