TWINMOM this one is for you……..
Twins and triplets look cute with their similar faces,smiles and clothes. But ask the parents, especially the mother and you will realize twins and triplets mean exhaustion, frustration, tears for the mother. And it starts right from pregnancy.
In his book "Twins 101: 50 Must-Have Tips for Pregnancy through Early Childhood from Doctor M.O.M.," Dr. Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin stresses to parents to aim for Fairness, not equality. And in this simple advice lies the secret of raising twins and triplets.
Most parents aim for equality but things are never equal with twins because they are individuals trapped with the same features and so life long are treated as ‘one’, when they are actually ‘two’. Ask a mother of twins and she will confirm that when one wakes the other feels sleepy. When one is active the other wants food. And so it is a roller coaster ride because one or the other is always wanting your help, attention and support.
Some simple tips for parents with multiple births-
1. Prepare for life after birth as soon as you know that you will be giving birth to multiples. Think of extra help. Mothers please don’t try to do it on your own, may be possible but in the long run you will break down.
2. Try not to buy everything similar for the kids. Learn to notice the individuality of each baby and let it blossom. Yes, they are growing up together so will want what the other has, so learn when to give in and when not to.
3. They will fight for everything and they will be a team against you! Yes expect these extremes, so try and have slightly separate schedules so that you can give your attention equally to both. If not possible then try and give equal attention to both during the activity/every day ritual or you will end up always giving maximum attention to the demanding twin.
4. Yes, one is always dominant and one is submissive. So early on identify which is which and match your parenting to their temperament.
5. Give your self atleast 20 minutes a day alone. Impossible only in your mind. Plan and you will achieve it.
6. No amount of reading will prepare you to be a parent of a twin because the secret is ‘temperament’ it all depends on the temperament of your twins. So learn to recognize and adapt to it right from birth. Remember when parents ‘tamper with temperament’ it leads to ‘tantrums’.
7. So turn the word twins into an acronym and you will be able to bring some sense into the chaos called twin parenting.
T- TERRIFIC NOT TERRIBLE
Once the shock of knowing that you are having twins wears off, you will soon realize the benefits. You have completed your family in one go, both will grow up together, both will have a sibling and friend and you will soon be free to pursue your dreams as they will both grow up soon and become independent. Yes it means double the cost and responsibility, so plan as soon as you get the news. But stop feeling terrible about it.
W- WIN-WIN FOR ALL
When faced with a choice or a dilemma, choose the option in which everyone wins. To do that you may have to be firm sometimes. But it works.
Treat each twin as in individual or you risk emotional issues in the twins. So try not to have favourites and train yourself to think as per the situation. If both the twins need a separate schedule, do it. If both are happy doing everything together, do it. But don’t let one make the decisions for you.
N- NO- AND STICK TO IT
Learn to say NO, and then stick to it. Bawling twins are a handful but once they realize that you are firm, they will adjust to your ways. Don’t be worried to be firm with the naughty one. They have to realize early on that good behaviour will be accepted and incorrect behaviour will not be accepted. They cannot be taught to gain from the other’s behaviour.
S- SHARE YOUR WORK
Twins are not a one person job, so plan and find out who will be with you, always, in their up bringing. Your husband, mother, sister, nanny, baby sitter? Choose wisely and ensure that you don’t divide but share. This means that it should not be that you are always looking after one twin and your partner the other. This will breed sibling rivalry and mean more trouble for you.
In school, please teach the teacher how to identify between the two, so that it is easier on the teacher and boosts the self esteem of the twins as they are not always confused by the teacher. Ideally try not to keep twins in the same class as they will always be compared. And yes if there is no uniform do dress them differently. Let the identity of each child come through, work on ensuring that they are not stuck with the label of ‘twins’.