A common concern of parents of twins is “How can I help people recognize my kids as individuals and not just as “the twins”?”
It is easy for most people to see a pair of twins and automatically group them together. It is a shortcut because most people don’t care or have the time to think about the differences between your twins.
This can be frustrating for you, the parent of twins. After all, each of your kids is unique.
Here are some ways you can help others recognize your twins as individuals and not as a single entity known as “the twins”.
Start With Yourself
Start by evaluating the way you refer to your twins. Others are watching your actions and how you talk about your kids. They will follow your lead.
Do you group the twins together when discussing them? Do you call them “the twins” or “the girls” or “Bobby and Susan?”
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Don’t be surprised when others do the same.
Mention your twins individually and by name in conversations with others. If you must group your kids together when discussing something, then refer to your twins as “the kids” or lump all your kids together as “the kids” (if you have more than just the two) so that the twins aren’t singled out.
Your example will go along way toward how those in your household refer to your twins. If Mom and Dad are always calling the twins by name, other siblings will do likewise.
When you have visitors over at your house, they will never hear about “the twins” – only about each individual by name.
It helps others when your twins look physically different. This is definitely easier when you have girl/boy twins, and can even be easier if you have differing distinct characteristics on your same-sex fraternal twins. I’ve shared some helpful tips for helping others tell your twins apart before in the event that your twins are identical. But the end result is the same: when people see different-looking kids, they are less likely to group the twins into an automatic pair and will be more likely to treat them as individuals. When you dress your twins identically, don’t be surprised when others can’t get past the sameness of the pair.
Don’t Go Crazy
How others refer to your twins can be a pet peeve that annoys you to no end, or it can have no effect on you.
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You decide how others’ comments impact your mood. Most comments about “the twins” are not made with malicious intent. Receive them as they were meant to be received – take no offense and roll with it.
Give it Time
As your twins mature, they will develop very distinct personalities and tastes. These will manifest themselves in appearance and behaviors that will reinforce the reality that your twins are individuals.
Eventually, your twins will have an opinion on the matter and will be able to challenge other’s comments themselves.
Picture by Nayelli Rodriguez
(RELATED: Still looking for the right twin gear? See my Twin Baby Gear Essentials.)