Parenting Twins as Unique Individuals

As a parent of twins, it’s nearly impossible not to overanalyze your relationship with each child. Are you treating them equally? Are you treating them too equally? Do you tend to favor one over the other? These are all normal thoughts to have and not every day can be perfectly balanced. Here are some ways you can consciously treat each twin with respect and fairness.

Carve Out Quality Time with Each Child

Sure, your twins were born on the same day, but that doesn’t mean they have all of the same interests. It’s great to spend time as a family but be sure to occasionally spend one-on-one time with each twin. For instance, one child may love to read and find enjoyment in taking a trip to the bookstore. The other might be more adventurous and prefer a day at the amusement park.

Keep an Open Dialogue

It’s common for twins to compare themselves to one another. Make sure they know that just because they’re the same age, doesn’t mean they’re going to develop at the same rate or achieve certain milestones at the same time. This is particularly true for mixed gender twins, as girls begin going through puberty before boys. When one twin accomplishes something, be sure to celebrate, but also remind the other that their time is coming. Practice being happy for one another as a family.

Let Them Decide for Themselves

Parents of twins often dress their children in similar or matching outfits, particularly during infancy. As they begin to grow older, it’s important to leave the “twinning” up to them. If they want to match sometimes, let them, but if not, let them be their own unique selves. The same goes for sharing the same interest in activities.

Encourage Individuality

Your twins will always have an uncanny connection with one another that no one else can understand. Acknowledge that their relationship as twins is special, but encourage them to pursue at least one of their own interests and to have some of their own separate friends. It’s best to help steer them away from becoming co-dependent on one another.

Being the parent of twins isn’t always easy, but it is rewarding. Remember to take a step back every once and a while and enjoy watching each child develop their own unique personality. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by your twins, you can always turn to your UPMC Children's Community Pediatrics provider for advice.