Just Because They Are Twins
Doesn’t Mean They Are The Same
As a young woman, I imagined becoming a Mom someday. But I never thought that I would have twins. The Mom part of this job is easy but it is the parenting role that gets me every single time. Most days I do not know what I am doing. My Momisms include “I will think about it” “Please be nice to your sister.” “Think about what you just did.” “Do you need a hug”? I often parent by listening to my gut. It was an instinctive calling to be the type of Mom I am today. Did anyone else sit in the back seat with the new baby on the way home from the hospital?
However, parenting two kids has been the biggest challenge. Raising twins’ or siblings close in age can be an easy way to parent them the same. But my kids (just like yours) have very different personalities. Although parenting the same sounds like a good idea- It is not! The art of parenting has changed dramatically. Today there are so many different labels.
You may have heard of a Helicopter, a Lawn Mower, a Snow Plow, a Modern, an Umbrella, the Attachment, and the Over Parent.
It can be overwhelming with the number of possible solutions to shaping your children. Forget the labels because they do not define us! Treat them as individuals. Because spoiler alert- there is no easier way to parent.
Here are a few tips to incorporate into your parenting style to form a stronger bond between siblings.
- Feelings of jealousy, name calling, conflict, competing for parental attention. Look at conflict as a growth opportunity for your kids. They can learn how to negotiate and cooperate with others. Notice what your kids are saying to each other. In my experience when they are fighting they are usually bored so change the scenery and you can change the mood.
- Find 10 minutes each day to spend with your child one on one. Do what they love (art, board games, imaginary play, read a book). Your attention will speak volumes and instantly boost their confidence as an individual.
- The 1-2-3 Magic program is a method of positive parenting that keeps parents in charge. It is easy to learn and proves silence is golden! Find out more here
- Placing a stamp on your kids as the “shy one” the “smart one” or the “energetic one” can do more harm than good. I remember a time as we were walking into school my daughter was moving slow (as she always does) and I said “Hurry up and catch up” Another Mom overheard and told me that her son was always trailing behind as a kid, Now at 21 years old he is the most patient person. She reminded me that we have a gift and sometimes it shows up when we are young.
- We exercise our bodies and it is also important to exercise our emotions. A quick way is to ask your kids “How did you help out your sister today.” “What do you love most about her”
Acts of kindness award
- I recently discovered that my daughter loves awards! You can print some really cute ones on Pinterest here
Assign a job
- We have a few job rotations in our house. A light monitor, a snack picker, an outfit selector, a shoe getter, etc… Some kids just need responsibilities to keep them motivated. They feel so special when asked to press the on/off button on the TV. remote!
- We have all done it! It may not be my proudest parent moment but if a few m&m’s gets the job done then I am okay with it. Side note be sure to count the exact number of candy for each kid (I learned this the hard way)
- My kids may not understand what a commitment is but I have introduced to them a pinky promise. It has been my best parenting tool when solving problems. Plus it is just so cute to interlock with their tiny pinkies!
My kids have similar physical features but they are not the same. Once I began to see what motivates them as separate people I enjoyed the parenting aspect. Finding your own parenting style takes time. There are many benefits of trying new parenting tools on each child.