Help Your Multiples (Children) Craft Their Own Identities

The birth of twins, triplets, and other multiples is a blessing, but it’s often unexpected. That said, it’s not uncommon—about 132,000 sets of twins are born in the U.S. each year. Over 4,000 sets of triplets are born per year, and quadruplets or higher occur about 66 times each year. When a child is born with a ready-made set of siblings, it’s important to help each person find and express his or her own individuality.

Don’t Say “The Twins”

Of course, every parent will refer to their multiples as “the twins” or “the triplets” now and then. If you do this too often, though, it’ll reinforce the idea that these kids are a set. Address each child by name as much as possible, even if you’re talking about all the kids in conversation.

Explain What Makes Each Child Unique

Everyone needs to hear what’s good and unique about them, and multiples need this more than most kids. Observe each child’s personality, and praise his or her good character traits or special strengths. For example, if Monica is your attentive little scholar, you could say she’s “conscientious” or “eager to learn.” If Michaela is your social butterfly, you could say she makes friends easily or praise her cheerfulness.

Give Each Child “Alone Time”

Each of your children will need your attention, so make sure you’re spending adequate time with each one. Find out their core interests and participate; if you have a multiple who likes science, take him or her to a museum. Take one child on your errands with you one day, and the next time, let it be another kid’s turn.

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