As cute as it may seem to dress your identical twins in the same clothes, experts emphasize the importance of helping twins to develop their own identity. Naturally, when twins are small and often throughout their entire childhood, twins will spend a lot of time together, share toys, eat, play and have a great time together, however, it is believed, that a lack of a separate identity may lead to difficulties, particularly during the teenage years. Between the ages of 13 to 18, when most of us are trying to discover who we are, twins often struggle to do so, simply because they have often been treated as “a unit” rather than two individuals. Parents can play an important role in ensuring, that each twin, right from the beginning, is aware of her/his own identity and thus prevent any such problems.
Here are some simple ways to nourish each of your twins’ personality:
- Only Dress Them the Same Way on Occasion: It’s perfectly ok to dress your twins in identical clothing for family photographs or other special occasions. Generally, though, experts propagate different clothes for each twin as a means of creating separate identities. In the case of my twin girls, I have chosen not to dress them same.
- Spend One-on-One Time With Each Twin: Spend time alone with each twin and use that time to discover likes and dislike, personality traits and to give each twin the opportunity to connect with you as an individual.
- Don’t Refer to Them as “the Twins”: It’s easy to fall into the trap of addressing and treating twins as a unit rather than as two separate children. This will reinforce the idea that they have no individuality and may lead to difficulties in later years.
- Separate Present, Cards, Toys, Foods, etc.: Make sure to give each twin a separate gift whenever an occasion arises and even when it comes to toys and food, encourage each to express their likes and dislikes. One twin might love dancing, while the other is crazy about cycling, allow them to each pursue their passions.
- Two Birthday Cakes: Make sure to organize two birthday cakes as each twin is entitled to be celebrated individually.
- Different Friends: You may also wish to support the idea of your twins having a different circle of friends, this will also strengthen their sense of self.
- Separate Classes: Though this may not always be possible, some experts even advise parents to have their twins attend school in separate classes in the hope of helping them to stand on their own two feet.
- Find and Nurture Each Twin’s Personality: Make an effort to identify personality traits and help each twin to grow into an authentic self by treating them as siblings rather than twins.
- It’s Ok to Nurture Their Bond: Don’t feel that you have to downplay or are not allowed to celebrate your twin’s unique bond. For the most part, twins enjoy growing up together and greatly benefit from the closeness and mutual support.
You will know which of the above will work for you and find a way of supporting and nurturing your twins as individuals and help them to flourish. By simply being aware of their unique personalities, you will naturally create an environment in which they can blossom and grow independently.