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Raising Twins

Raising twins has its own unique set of challenges and rewards, not the least of which if fostering individuality in your duplicates. When your twins were younger, you probably dressed them alike, bought two of each toy, and reveled in the unique event of their "sameness." Now that your twins have reached preschool or kindergarten, you may have noticed that these very similar individuals are somewhat, or even very, different from each other.

Dressing Your Twins

Although it's absolutely adorable to have your twins dressed alike – identical outfits for identical twins or coordinating outfits for fraternal twins – most experts stress helping your kids become individuals. Therefore, don't push the "identical thing" on your twins if they have different interests. Encourage them to develop their own independence. Let them decide if they feel like being carbon copies on any given day.

Twins Development

Many twins appear to develop at roughly the same rate. They walk at about the same time, talk at about the same time, and potty train at about the same time. This may be due to the influence of one on the other. However, some twins develop on different schedules. There's nothing to worry about if one twin appears to be ahead of the other or if one of them takes a developmental step backward. Parents should avoid turning "twindom" into a competition and let each child develop at his or her own pace. Don't force one twin to keep pace with the other or hold one back because the other isn't ready for something.

Special Time with Mom and Dad

Twins are like any other siblings in that they need and desire alone time with mom and dad. Spend time as a family, but don't forget to spend special quality time alone with each child. In the same manner, encourage your twins to spend time with each other, time alone, and time with other children both together and individually. Turn a trip to the grocery store or the post office into one-on-one time with one of your twins.

Twins and Individuality

It may seem difficult to foster individuality in two children who shared the same womb at the same time, were born on the same day, share the same birthday, and are exactly the same age. Although your twins aren't likely to respond positively to being left out of an activity he or she wants to participate in, they are more likely than you think to be ok with branching out on their own and exploring separate activities. Let your twins lead the way and provide opportunities for each to try new things. So often, we see twins as two pieces of the same person. Twins are often no more similar than any other set of siblings. Encouraging independence and individuality helps foster confidence, self-esteem, and competence in your twins.