How to Encourage Individuality When Raising Twins
Encouraging individuality with our twins is very important to my wife and I. It’s also a lot easier since we were blessed with boy/girl twins. I imagine it would be a little more difficult with identical twins! That being said, I listed a few ideas to think about if you want to encourage individuality with your twins.
Encourage individuality with the name selection
It all starts with the names. The twins are born and all of a sudden, everyone is waiting for that first and last middle name that you chose. My wife and I had many talks about names and we wanted to make sure that we encouraged individuality early, starting with the names. Even though we have boy/girl twins, we didn’t want to focus on alliteration. We avoided names like Jack and Jill, Mike and Mary, Chris and Catherine…you get the point.
Spend one-on-one time with each child
We do a lot of activities together as a family. We love spending time together and family time is really important to us! But it’s also important to spend one-on-one time with each of our children. This is especially true when you have twins. This individual time with our children allows us to connect with them on a deeper level. We get to learn more about them and do the activities that they really enjoy, but their sibling may not enjoy as much. Date nights with our children are something we strive to do on a monthly basis.
Kevin Zelenka offers some great advice on how to build in one-on-one time with your twins at home.
Encourage individuality by dressing them differently
I cannot stress this enough. I see parents still encouraging their twins to dress identically and the twins are now in high school! Now, if this is something you really enjoy doing, go for it. But for us, we said early that we didn’t want to dress our twins in the same clothes just because they’re twins. Again, we have it a little easier since they’re boy/girl twins. But not choosing to dress them identically allows us to encourage individuality at an early age. But, at the end of the day, it’s up to you how you dress them. Because it is cute from time to time to have them match!
Encourage individuality by not comparing them
This is one of the most difficult ideas for me to consistently implement. I really struggle with not comparing my twins when it comes to school work. I see my son excel in math and my daughter really struggle in math. On the flip side, I watch my daughter excel in reading and my son struggle with reading. I find myself comparing each of them, but offer positive words of encouragement at the same time. Positive words are great! Comparing…not so much. By not comparing, I am able to really appreciate their strengths and work with them to build on those strengths and help them when they struggle.
Appreciate them individually
When all is said and done, appreciate each of your children for who they are. Just because they are twins and were born minutes apart, does not mean that they will have the same personalities! My son is an extrovert and has no problem holding a 10 minute long conversation about LEGOs with the gentleman he bumped into at the grocery store. And he bumped into him because he wasn’t paying attention. My daughter on the other hand is the complete opposite and you have to pry the words out of her. But I love them all the same. These personalities are what make my twins unique and I love them to death!
At the end of the day, they are YOUR twins. You decide how you want to raise them. You decide what their names will be and what they will wear (at least when they’re babies). These are helpful suggestions if you want to encourage individuality but don’t know where to start. I would love to hear from you in the comments if you try these helpful tips!