I am hoping we can get our mother to write her opinions on raising identicals. Since we were her youngest and we are identical twins. I think she tried hard to make sure that each of us had our own individuality. So that each child is a she and not a they.
And therein lies the most difficult thing about parenting multiples, I imagine.
Usually when someone asks any parent about their twins, it’s rarely a question about one of them.
We were the youngest of four. We had an older brother and sister. Having four children and being a single mother is challenging enough but it had to be even more challenging raising an independent child when the life of that child is so inextricably interwoven with their twin. How can you make sure that each have the attention they need? How do you make them feel special as individuals? Is there a way can you help them to be their own person? These are the questions I ponder because everyone struggles to find their own identity.
I am sure like me you mostly have to rely on your gut.
Our mother made sure we were in different classes and wore different clothing, however, we did have the most heinous haircuts (we had the same cuts and we looked like boys) and when we had pictures we had to have the same outfits on. Probably the pressure from family or maybe the school or society but really, who knows!
Our oldest brother just called us “twins” for as long as I can remember. When we were a lot older he knew us apart and is actually much closer with Teri than me.
Our oldest and dearest friend Rodney called us ShariTeri…..just one word name. Though, he knew exactly who was who.
My point is, it is your responsibility as a parent to make sure they know they are individuals and not one person. I am not saying it will be easy, but extremely necessary. As an identical twin, it was hard to grow up being compared or people assuming we were the same. Because we aren’t.
Teri and I have the same mannerisms and preferences on some degree; however, we are completely different in our personalities.
This is a tough subject, I know because when you have these cute little babies you want to dress them alike. All coo’s and love seeing the “twins or multiples” but for the multiples this can create hard feelings or hardships for them later on when they are trying to find their own identities.
So our rule in our house (regardless of multiples or siblings or a single child) we do not COMPARE them to anyone. The golden rule is I don’t compare my son’s to Teri’s son. My children are close and I like to think it’s because we didn’t compare them to each other or to anyone.
I hope this helps as you are raising identical twins, multiples or have several children because as parents we do the best we can, right? Getting advice from other parents has always helped me to be a better parent.