The Distracted Dad shared “101 Things a Child of Mine Needs to Know.” He wrote this list before his twins were born and recently shared it on his blog. This father of twins advice includes tips that are very applicable to you as a father of twins as you raise your twins. I wanted to highlight a few of these here and then you can check out the rest of the list.
Parental Balance and Favorites
Number 43 says:
Sometimes you will think one parent is better than the other. Sometimes you will be right. For the most part, though, your parents are the Yin and Yang of your development, and both play equal parts.
As a father of twins you’re going to notice that your twins will play favorites, and these favorites come in different combinations. Sometimes both of your twins will completely ignore you and prefer mom all together. Other times, one twin will gravitate to you and the other to mom. Of course this can change on a daily basis or hourly basis.
One way to overcome this is that you can spend time with each twin individually to help in bonding with them.
Be consistent as parents so that you don’t create a division between you and your twins. Perhaps you are more strict in enforcing the rules and your spouse is not. Your twins are the going to gravitate to the easy-to-get-what-they-want spouse.
As we know kids will go to mom and ask for something and if she says no they go to dad and ask for the same thing and see what he says. Too often parents are caught unaware because that did not know other conversation happened with the other parent. With twins it can get extra tricky because one twin will go talk to mom and the other twin will the go talk to dad and then the twins can compare notes and see which response they liked best and then go with that. Was it mom’s response or dad’s response? It is important that you as parents are consistent with each other and how you are responding to the twins’ requests.
Ask for Help
Number 57 on the list is:
It is always okay to ask for help.
Now this advice is given to his children but it’s also very applicable to you as a parents of twins.
Look for patterns in you twins’ behavior so that you can predict their needs and when they are going to need help. You can help them ask for help by teaching them baby signs while they are very young to communicate by talking. When they get frustrated or disappointed, help reinforce the fact that it’s okay for them to ask you for help, and then provide their help willingly. Then teach them how to fix it themselves for the next time.
Don’t Compare to Other Families
Number 81 on the list is:
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I don’t care what the other kids’ parents allow. We’re not the other kids’ parents.
We’ve talked previously about raising twins your own way regardless of the father of twins advice you’ve received. You don’t need to compare yourself to other parents who have twins and what they are or are not doing. It’s okay to learn from others but don’t give in to the peer pressure that you feel by trying to keep up with the Joneses or with the friends of your kids and the requests that they bring to you. Stick to your family rules, family principles, and don’t cave in to your kids’ outlandish requests.
I talk more about raising your twins in my book, the Dad’s Guide to Raising Twins: How to Thrive as a Father of Twins.
This topic was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 84: Fatherly Advice, Sleep Regression, When Found Out About Twins. Original photo by Derek Purdy