Balancing the Needs of Twins and Older Siblings at Day Care

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - February 26, 2019

The next question is about daycare. This mom writes in and says that, “Big sister’s daycare is about to get the twins as well.” And so she’s worried about her singleton being overshadowed by the twins and wonders if I have any advice on how to handle that situation.

Twins at play

So I think that in daycare, the caregiver should be very used to giving fair attention to all different types of kids. Odds are your kids are not the only ones in daycare, and they will be well taken care of by the caregivers who are used to giving attention to multiple children throughout the day. Definitely talk through your concerns with your daycare provider, and discuss what they will be doing to help address those concerns. There can be different activities for the twins versus your daughter, and how they will change those plans, if needed, to make sure that things are going smoothly for your children.

Making Time for an Older Sibling

Outside of daycare, pay attention on the homefront and make sure that you are setting aside time with your older daughter, so that she feels she is getting the attention that she needs. If she’s been in this daycare for a while and has been kind of the star of the show, at least from your family, and the twins arrive, she will start to lose some attention, perhaps in favor of the twins. And so challenges from this may manifest themselves in your home life and in your home setting. So pay attention to that and make sure that you’re giving your due attention when you’re at home.

Look for new or different behaviors in your daughter. They may indicate a problem with her reaction to the twins. I definitely recommend that while you’re at home and you’re observing your children, definitely praise the positive behavior that you see. When you see good interactions between your older daughter and the twins, praise that interaction and encourage more of it through positive reinforcement.

As we talked about in the past, I definitely encourage you to take one-on-one time with each of your children – your older daughter and your twins, one-by-one to help build individual relationships with them, and be able to talk with them and uncover issues that they may be having. If the particular daycare situation you have becomes more of a problem, you may consider more drastic measures, perhaps putting your children in different daycares, or changing your care-giving arrangements altogether. Maybe having in-home care would be more affordable than daycare or on par with daycare, or you may consider other alternatives for your children.

This topic was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 69: Equality, Helping Mom’s Mental Health, Day Care. Picture by Ruth L.

(RELATED: Your twins will need a lot of gear. Here's the complete twins baby registry checklist to get ready for your twins' arrival.

Further Reading

Dad's Guide to Raising Twins book
Don't forget to pick up a copy of the definitive guide to raising twins. "Dad's Guide to Raising Twins" was written for fathers of twins to help guide you through the first several years with twins. Click here to learn more about the book and get your copy.

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