Favoritism When Raising Twins

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - March 5, 2019

The circumstances of having twins often highlights the differences between each child, and you might find yourself gravitating toward one child over the other. Favoritism when raising twins is natural, but doesn’t have to be a problem.

Dad with twin girls

Favoritism may be due to your twins’ behavior or physical needs. If one baby self-soothes or sleeps well while her sister needs constant care, you will find yourself spending more time with one over the other.

Time spent with each twin may lead to favoritism of one twin over the other. This may be because you spend disproportionate time with one or that you prefer the “easier” child over her sibling.

It is natural to favor one over the other. Acknowledge this and look for it and see it for what it is.

Comparisons with Twins

Comparisons are too easy when you’ve got twins. Avoid comparisons – especially that Child A is doing better than Child B. It is fine to compare each against milestone benchmarks but don’t dwell on the fact that one child is better than the other.

Each twin is unique and will develop at his or her own pace – be that physically or mentally.

(RELATED: Love podcasts? Check out the entire Dad's Guide to Twins Podcast archive for additional twin tips and interviews with twin dads.)

Find the Strengths

Focus on your twins’ strengths and what you love about them.

Even in the midst of chaos, there are still things that are going well and can be counted as blessings and positive characteristics of your twins.

Avoid dwelling on the negative of each twin and focus on what is going right.

One-on-One Time

Spend one on one time with each child to help build a relationship with each twin and avoid favoritism.

This time together will help you see what is great about each twin and force you to not play favorites.

When Twins Have a Favorite Parent

Some times favoritism comes from the twins. They will prefer spending time with one parent over the other.

(RELATED: Still expecting twins? Will you be having two boys, two girls, or boy/girl twins? Answer these quick questions to see what several old wives’ tales claim you’ll be having….)

You can change this behavior over time. This may be as simple as one-on-one time with the non-favorite parent. Or having the preferred parent pass off the child to the other spouse. Here are some more tips to systematically change favoritism behavior and help them reattach to the other parent.

Expressing Favoritism

Don’t express preference out loud to your children or family members. This builds a negative cycle where something that is temporary could grow into a more permanent preference or perception.

Game of Twins Shirt

Discuss the challenges you are having with each child privately as a couple but be united in how you show your feelings to your children in their presence and around other family and friends.

Express love to each twin, praise each child, and admire what is good in each.

(RELATED: Love podcasts? Check out the entire Dad's Guide to Twins Podcast archive for additional twin tips and interviews with twin dads.)

Love the differences. Your twins can be so similar and yet so different. Embrace the differences and enjoy them!

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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