Twin does not have to mean carbon-copy: Fostering individual identities for multiples.

Before I had twins I had two boys born two years apart. I had always dressed them alike, referred to them as “the boys” and enrolled in similar activities. I did not have to worry about them having their own identity because they

had their own special differences because of age. They did not share a room, a birthday, and while the clothes matched they were definitely different sizes.

It’s important with multiples to help them foster their individuality as much as you can. Here are some tips to help with that.

Jessica wanted earrings, her sister did not
  • Treat your babies as individuals from the very beginning. They are two (or more) separate beings. Avoid referring to them as "the twins" or "the triplets" and use their given names. YOU set the example for others to follow..

  • Build a special one-to-one relationship with each child. Look for special talents and praise each one often. Try to spend some one-on-one time with each child.

  • Be sure to take photographs of each child separately. There will come a time when one child will ask for a picture of "me." Put the child's name on the back of his/her picture so that there is no confusion in later


  • Try to foster privacy. Try to allow each child to have his or her own space. Whether it is a shelf or drawer, or assigned corner. Also separate toys and separate books give each child a sense of ownership.

  • Focus on their differences rather than there similarities. They are two unique people who deserve to be treated as such. If one enjoys sports while the other enjoys music, respect their differences and nurture their preferences.

  • Allow each child to make choices, whether it is a bedtime story or what to have for breakfast. Instead of insisting that the vote be unanimous allow each to make a choice of their own.

Multiples may have a special bond between them. Try to rear them as individuals without destroying their special bond. This just like most aspects of parenting can be challenging. If you keep theses tips in mind, you will be a step closer to winning at twinning!

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