It’s with great joy that I welcome one of my favourite bloggers and a parent of twin boys, Zainab Raazi, to share her tips on raising twins and doing it individually.
Zainab is a familiar face in blogging circles and her blog, Slim Expectations, is well known to all those in the fitness, lifestyle and travel domains. Raising kids is one thing but any mom of multiples will tell you that doing it with two kids of the same age is another feat altogether. Over to Zainab as she shares her five top tips on making this a fun and enjoyable experience.
When you expect- you are happy. And, when you expect twins, you are twice as happy. So, let me just blurt out a few things that are not quite what they seem. Take sugar, for example. It’s white and powdery. And, yet, sometime when you taste it, you realise it’s actually salt. Why? Because you’ve actually put salt and sugar in identical containers. Shocking, right? It’s the same thing with twins. Less shocking, for sure 😉
How to Raise Twins as Individuals
Twins, are certainly a blessing. I mean, you deliver just once and the babies are there. But, of course with the quadruple amount of work from the parents’ end, it’s certainly no cakewalk.
One does need a lot of family support and maybe a nanny too, to raise those babies into tiny humans.
But, how do you raise them individually? That’s something I belive only the parents can do. Not even grand parents know about this; I mean, you are the twin parent, right?
Raising twins is nothing like raising a single child. Being the same age, everything from their school books, toys and clothes are similar.
And to be honest, it is no piece of cake. But, again parenting is supposed to be hard.
With time and lots of trial and error I have learned how to raise twins as individuals. So, let’s just dive into the topic.
Tip 1: Treat them separate but as equals
It’s always in our mind, to treat them equally, But, at times we accidentally give more attention, to one and the other twin feels neglected. So, it’s a good idea to bond with them “individually” too.
For instance, take the less chatty twin for ice-cream and talk about school, his friends etc. And, you can do a similar activity with your second twin another day.
Bonding with your child, individually, is really important. In case of twins, even more so, as one always tries to outshine the other.
Tip 2: Separate their Classrooms
The twins are always together. They eat together, wake up at the same time and follow the same schedule day in and day out. Now, if they were to be in the same class too, that would be an overkill, right?
Even if your twins are the best of friends, it’s a good idea to have them in separate sections. This way they make their own friends, and blossom on their own. They learn to find their strengths as independent beings and aren’t pitting their wits against their own flesh and blood (at least in the classroom!).
Tip 3: Dress them differently
Dressing them alike does seem very rosy, from the outside, but internally it might not be all that pink. When you see twins at a mall or say park, in similar attire, you just melt. Right?
But, you will be astonished to know that, probably the twins are not too ecstatic about dressing up alike. That is because, (I feel) they want to have their own dressing style.
But as twin parents we end up shopping for similar articles by default. You can’t blame us though. The cuteness level of twins dressed alike is just something else.
Give them the chance to pick out their own clothes every once in a while. That will also help with figuring out their individual tastes and preferences.
Tip 4: Separate Interests
Every parent wishes that their child would excel in all the fields. Studies, hobbies, manners etc. But, no individuals are alike. Yes, even those born on the same date, within a matter of minutes are not similar. One of them can be good at swimming, and the other one can by hydrophobic. It’s unfair to force them to “like” the same things.
We wouldn’t do this with non twin, siblings, so why them?
Encourage them to pick out hobbies that they enjoy individually. Watch to see what they gravitate towards naturally in a crowded room or play zone. Kids tell us more with their behaviour than they ever do with their words.
Tip 5: Don’t ever compare them
One always tries to overshadow the other. Now, this is only for attention. We might at times, give more attention to the weaker twin. (Weak in terms of health/popularity etc.) And, this could spark off this kind of sibling rivalry.
Do not compare them. It comes naturally, to moms. But it really doesn’t help. Let them grow as individuals. They both do not have bag the A’s.
Observations as a parent of twins
Nothing like being in a group of like-minded moms to know that you’re not alone. Now, with social media and the surge of networking options, parenting can actually be simpler, if we know how to use it well.
I was actually added to a group called “Twinderland” which has more than 100 twin moms. Discussing, the issues, the challenges and even the joys are really helpful. You can also join online Facebook communities, for the same.
As a mom, here is my parting piece of wisdom: Tell the kids and often, that you feel blessed ( which you do) and that their bond makes you happy and proud. This should help them be more affectionate towards each other. We cannot “force” them to be best friends, but only hope and talk about it.
I’m more than happy to hear other moms share their input on raising multiples. What are your biggest challenges as a parent? Do share in the comments below.
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About the Guest writer: Zainab Raazi
Zainab is a fitness & lifestyle blogger and a mom of twin boys. On her blog and social media channels, she shares practical tips for fitness, especially for busy moms. Zainab lost a great deal of weight after motherhood and didn’t give up a single food item that she loves. Check out her blog, for more.
Blog: Slim Expectations