Raising Emotionally Healthy Twins with Dara Lovitz – Podcast 173

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - May 22, 2018

Raising Emotionally Healthy Twins with Dara Lovitz

Episode 173 of the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Show Notes

In this episode, I chat with Dara Lovitz mother of twin girls and author of “Twinsight: A Guide to Raising Emotionally Healthy Twins“.

On the show, we dive into Dara’s twin journey and her research into raising emotionally healthy twins, including:

  • Challenges of caring for two infants by yourself
  • Hardest parts of raising toddler twins
  • Why the first few years with twins aren’t all bad
  • When one of the twins tends to be a caregiver for the other twin
  • Developing relationships with people other than your twin sibling
  • Why one-on-one time for twins is so important
  • How to actually give twins alone time with a parent
  • Giving each twin time alone with both parents
  • What you can do to help non-twin siblings feel valued and special
  • Avoiding the comparison trap with twins
  • Keeping twins together or separate in school

See Dara’s book, “Twinsight: A Guide to Raising Emotionally Healthy Twins“:

Read Dara’s Blog

See Joe’s new Twin Stroller Advisor

Transcript

Joe: Hi there and welcome to the 173rd episode of The Dad’s Guide to Twins podcast, this is Joe Rawlinson. As always, you can find me on the web at TwinDadPodcast.com where you’ll find the complete show notes and transcript for this episode, and all previous podcast episodes.

Twin Gender Predictor Calculator

Joe: Today on the show, we’ll be speaking with Dara Lovitz, author of Twinsight: A Guide to Raising Emotionally Healthy Twins. She shares some very practical tips about how to ensure the emotional health and wellbeing of your twins, as they grow from itty bitty babies through school age, to teenagers, adults, and more.

Joe: Today’s show is brought to you by a new tool that I have on my website, DadsGuideToTwins.com/strollers. If you’re in the market for a new twin stroller, this is the tool that will help you decide, what is the best stroller for you and your family’s needs. Head on over to DadsGuideToTwins.com/strollers.

Joe: And now, let’s jump right into the interview with Dara Lovitz.

(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)

Joe: How old are your girls, now?

Dara: They are five, now, turning six this fall.

Joe: What’s the most exciting thing about this age, right now, with them?

Dara: They have really interesting thoughts and I’m always surprised by … Every day, when they express themselves I’m just surprised to hear what’s in their heads.

Twin Gender Predictor Calculator

Dara: For instance, one recognized that the signs for the bathrooms, there was a sign for the bathroom and there’s a woman’s body, so she knew it was the women’s room. And then, there was a sign for the men’s room with the men’s body. Under the woman’s … the little square where the woman’s picture was … there’s a picture of a changing table, like a baby being changed, and she said, “Why is there a changing table picture on the girl’s bathroom and not on the boy’s bathroom?” And I said, “That’s a great point. That’s like, “How’s a daddy going to change a baby if there’s no changing table in there?” So, we discussed gender inequality and I thought, “I can’t believe I’m discussing this, I’m discussing gender equity issues with a child, with my child.” It was really exciting. Now, I feel like we’re more intellectual equals, which says a lot about my intellectual level, if a five year old is my equal, but I’m starting to feel like we’re evening out more, and I like that.

Joe: That is a funny age, where they’re very curious, they ask lots of questions, and their perspective on the world is so different from ours that it helps us see things in a new light.

Dara: Yes, definitely.

Joe: So, as you look back, over the last five years with your girls, what were some of the big challenges that you had? Or surprises that you experienced?

(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)

Dara: The potty training days were tough. When you have two kids and you have a grocery cart full of groceries and there’s a public restroom where the drier is so loud, they don’t want to go in it, but they have to go to the potty. You know, I have a lot of moments like that. Honestly, a lot of them have to do with a supermarket and two screaming kids, and everybody’s rushing you through to the front of the line, which is not a bad thing, by the way, but they just want to get you out of the store because you have two screaming kids. So, there were times, I feel like, in the twos and the threes that were really tough, when you really want to go out in public, you think, “Finally, I can go out in public because they actually can walk.” But then, they’re still not mature enough to hold themselves together. So, there would be issues where you find yourself running out of public places a lot with one or two screaming children.

Dara: But, even more challenging was before that, before they could walk and you have to take two kids out … it’s one adult and you got to take two babies out of their car seats and into the house or preschool. And they can’t walk, so you have to put one in a Bjorn and then you hold the other. I didn’t have a double carrier, I knew that exists, but I just didn’t see on one the market that made sense to me. It’s just a struggle to carry two babies at once, I felt.

Dara: So, those days are behind us. My kids are potty trained and they walk on their own. And, they can usually keep it together in public, for the most part. So, I feel like we’ve been through a wave of challenging times and we all survived and we’re all okay.

Twin Gender Predictor Calculator

Joe: Yeah, I think there’s thing for us to remember, as parents of twins, is the first several years are really, really hard, but you do get through it. And then, you get to the stage, like where you’re at, where you can have intellectual conversations with your children and do different things together without having to worry about a lot of those physical or logistical concerns from their early years.

Dara: Yeah. And it wasn’t all bad and I feel bad for new twin parents who learn. They’re always told the same thing, and I was told this, too, when I was pregnant with twins, “The first two or three years are tough,” or, it depends who’s talking, sometimes it’s, “The first three months are tough,” “The first year is tough.” You’re always being prepped for the worst, and there are definitely wonderful moments in those first couple of years. And, it’s funny, because you don’t realize it until you look back at your videos of your babies, or of when they’re just learning to walk for the first time, or when they’re shaking their little tushy to music for the first time, and those are wonderful moments, and they happen in the middle of the challenging times. I think the way we’re trained or programmed is we remember the bad times, the horrible times, but there are many, many, many moments of wonder and happiness in those tough times. And I hope that parents who are listening, who are pregnant or have babies, know that there are a lot of really great times.

Joe: You just recently came out with a new book, Twinsight: A Guide to Raising Emotionally Healthy Twins. One of the things I enjoyed about your book was that you researched, not just what professionals or academics are saying, but also you talked to twins, themselves, and their families, and their siblings, to get a real picture for the experience of a twin, and how we can improve our parenting of them. As you were going through some of the research, what surprised you the most? Maybe some things you discovered that you had not seen in your own experience with your twin girls?

Dara: It’s surprises me that I don’t see it in my twin girls. And I’ll tell you, it is, a lot of the grown up twins felt very protective of their sibling and wanted to, and felt like the caretaker of them. And I just remember this past spring, there was a spring break, their school was closed, and there was a day camp at this environmental education center, and I wanted to drop them off so I could go to work, and one of my daughters was just crying inconsolably, she didn’t want to be dropped off there. And I said,, “You know, your sister’s here and if you feel sad, just look at your sister.” And I said to her sister, “You’ll hug her, right? If she needs a hug?” And then, she shook her head no. And I just felt like, “Wait a second. I have two kids and they’re supposed to comfort each other so I can go to work. And there are all these parents of singletons who are dropping their kids off and walking out.” And I just felt like none of that made sense to me.

Dara: But, interviewing the adult twins that I spoke with, it seems like that it is kind of natural for you to want to take care of your twin sibling. And I don’t know why my children are defective in that way, and it was very inconvenient for me, but it did surprise me … the more it did surprise me that my kids don’t do that, then I heard that the adult twins do it.

(RELATED: Expecting twins? Avoid these 4 critical mistakes expectant twin parents make.)

Dara: But, something else that I thought was interesting, that I never really thought of, when talking to these grown up twins in my interviews, is when it comes time to have a significant other relationship, when they’re in college or even in high school, and they’re starting to have a … they want to have a boyfriend or girlfriend, when you have a twin and you share everything with your twin and your twin is your best friend, and you spend all your time together, it’s really hard to open up and be that close and intimate to another person. And there was a lot of struggles, there were a lot of struggles for grown up twins, especially in their twenties and thirties, who want to have another relationship, they want to get married and start their family’s. They have to find a partner who’s understanding of that, who understands that there’s going to be a struggle for number one, for number one in a twin’s life.

Dara: And the big question is, I always asked the twin, “If you lost your job, who would you call first? Your husband or your twin?” Or, “If your best friend died, who would you call first? Your husband or your twin?” And that’s a struggle for a lot of twins to answer. The partner, the husband or the wife, would want their spouse to call them first. They want to be the number one, but a lot of times, the twin sibling is the number one in their lives. So, developing significant other relationships, developing significant relationships with partners, in their twenties and thirties, is more complicated for twins who have a very close relationship with their co-twin.

Joe: Yeah, that’s understandable. I mean, they’ve been together for, you know, twenty years and to be married or in a relationship for that long, takes another twenty years beyond that, right? What are some things that, maybe, parents did when their twins were younger, to help prepare them for that transition to other relationships?

Dara: I think it’s important to do one on one time with kids and have them develop important relationships with parents, with other siblings in the family, who are not their twins. I think it’s important to let them be friends with other kids, and I think separating in school helps with that. Have them have different social circles, so they understand what it’s like to have friends who are not their twins.

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

Dara: I interviewed one twin … and this is a really, really sad, awful, story … her twin sister, whom was her best friend … and I’ll just develop the relationship a little bit … she would call her twin sister every night. Now, at this point, they were in their twenties, but they still talked every night, even when they were in college, they spoke every night on the phone and they were the last person they spoke to before going to sleep, and they would say goodnight. They would talk about their days and then say goodnight. Every single night of their lives, they spoke to each other, even when they weren’t living together. And then, when she was 26, her twin sister was killed in a car accident.

Dara: And she said the hardest … I mean, obviously, that was so hard and that was tragic, it was her best friend, it was a person she spoke to every night, but … she said she had a really hard time making friends after that because she didn’t need to make friends, she kind of like, she had friends, you know, they had circles of friends, but she had trouble making a best friend or making a close circle of friends because she didn’t know, like, now, she had to learn how to open up to other people.And it took her a while to learn how to be a friend to other people. She knew how to be her sister’s, her twin sister’s, best friend. She didn’t know how to be anyone else’s close friend.

Dara: And it’s very unique, how you open up to somebody, and how that person opens up to you, and the bond that you have, to develop that with someone else so late in life, now it’s almost into her third decade of living, she had to learn skills that kids learn much earlier in life. So, I would encourage twins … I would encourage parents of twins to help them develop friendships outside of the twinship to help them develop close relationships with the other siblings in the family. One on one time with parents helps, just so that the twin realizes there are other ways to have relationships, close relationships, and the one relationship that they have with their twin is one special relationship, among many others. So, I think that’s something parents can do to help their twins prepare for having a partner or a spouse later in life.

Dara: There’s something my husband and I do a lot is we tag team and we, on the weekends, for instance, we always try to do at least one session of one on one time. So, that means I’m taking one kid to the supermarket and he’s taking the other kid to the playground. And, by the way, I know when I say that to other people, they think, “Oh, that stinks for the twin who has to go to the supermarket. I’d much rather be the kid going to the playground.” But, I’ll tell you that my kids, I think they’re so starving for that one on one time, they’ll do anything. They will go to the doctor, if they have to, with me because they just want to be alone with a parent and not have their twin sister around. So, any of that is very special.

Dara: And, again, weekends are easier because on the weekdays, we’re both working, and then we tag team, in a sense that, my husband gets them ready for school and takes them to school. And then, I pick them up from school and I’m with them all evening, getting them dinner. And sometimes he comes home and doesn’t even see them, he comes home from work too late. So, we can’t do one on one time on the weekdays, generally. So, we have to make sure we make time for it on the weekends.

Dara: And something that’s even more special, than one on one time, is two on one time. This is much harder to do. Usually you need a family member whom the kids love, but you would essentially drop one kid off at a grandparent’s house, for instance, and then both parents take the other sibling out. And that is so special.

Dara: When I interviewed grown up twins, I think almost … Well, I’d say, 90% of them told me, they never had a meal alone with their parents. They never had a two on one meal, that is to say. So, if you can make that happen, and obviously, you’d have to switch, you’d have to make sure you can do it in a month when you could take baby A out for two on one time, and then the next weekend, you take baby B, or in the same weekend, whatever. But, obviously, it has to be fair, but that’s super special if you can make that happen.

Dara: Otherwise, again, just splitting it up. And if it’s just you, if you’re a single parent of twins, you find a neighbor, you have to sort of get close with somebody else, one of your siblings, a neighbor, a family member, who can take one child while you have the other. And then, you switch on and off.

Joe: Now, what you say is wonderful about getting them out of the house for a dinner date or sometimes the logistics of that are challenging. One thing that we’ve had success with in our home is basically a stay at home date night with each of our kids. We’ll take turns with each of our four kids and we’ll basically send the other three kids to bed and we’ll stay up extra late with one of the children and they get to pick what the activity’s going to be. If we’re going to make something in the kitchen or do an activity or game together. Like you had mentioned, they love that time with just them and mom and dad, and get to do what they want to do. So, if any of the listeners are having trouble finding a caretaker to watch your other children, you may be able to just find time in your schedule, maybe stay up late one night a week with one of the kids to create that time, even if you can’t get out of the house.

Dara: That’s a great idea. And I think a lot of parents, like me, my first instinct is to say, “Oh, I would never want to purposely keep a kid up late, it’s so important that they get their sleep, and they wake up on a schedule.” Or, “At nighttime, is the time when my husband and I can finally be together and we want the kids asleep.” But, one night a week isn’t going to hurt their sleep schedule and there’s so much that you’re putting in the emotional bank that be damned be sleep schedules for one day, it’s not going to make a difference, and that’s so special. It also feels kind of naughty when all the other kids go to bed and the one kid gets to stay up and that is really special. I love that idea.

4 Critical Mistakes Expectant Twin Parents Make

Joe: Yeah, sometimes there are consequences with sleep, like you mentioned, but it’s worth it for that relationship and the memories that it creates. And, if you’re lucky, they sleep in the next day, like if it’s a Friday night, they may sleep in a little extra on Saturday, but, as we know as parents, that’s never guaranteed. No matter how late they stay up, they always seem to wake up early the next day.

Joe: What were some of the big challenges that you discovered in your research that the siblings of twins had being in a family with twins?

Dara: There’s one story that I’ll tell you that I think exemplifies what it’s like to be a sibling of twins, a non-twin sibling of twins. I was interviewing him, because I interviewed adult twins and I interviewed non-twin siblings, as well. I wanted to get their perspective on what it’s like to grow up in family with twins. One of them, he was so eloquent and he was so kind about his twins, there was no, it didn’t seem like he was jealous of them, and he said it was great growing up with them. But, then he said he was watching home videos of when he was a kid and he noticed that he was always sort of putting his face in front of the camera. The camera would be focused on the twins doing something and he would be jumping in the middle of the frame, or behind on the couch making a silly face, and he said, it showed him that he … he didn’t think, at the time, that he needed the special attention, but he could see it by him always interrupting the videos that he was sort of looking for attention, he was sort of looking to be noticed. And it’s something that, only as a grown up, he was able to wrap his head around and say that’s probably the case.

Dara: You know, you walk into a house with your twin siblings and you hear your cousins say, “The twins are here.” And you think, “Well, I’m also here.” Or, you see more photos of the twins together than photos of yourself on the wall, so it is a different experience, and I think parents have to really be aware of that. And, like you do, parents need to create separate one on one time a child, whether it’s staying up late or … they have to do that with all of their children, so they have to do that with their individual twins, they have to do that with the non-twin siblings, every child in the family should feel special.

Dara: Another way is you could call the, if your non-twin child is the first, is the oldest, you could call him or her the oldest, you know, the head of the family, the oldest of the family, and that’s a special, special nomenclature that they can feel proud about. Or, the youngest, or this is our baby, although kids don’t like being called baby, but you could find a nice way to distinguish the youngest in the family, as that’s the special place, that’s a special role that that child has.

Joe: There is a natural tendency for us as parents, or anyone who interacts with them, to compare them to each other. How can we help avoid that natural tendency and help encourage others to avoid comparing our twins?

Dara: This is so important. It’s probably the hardest thing parents of twins have to face. Even on a daily basis-I will answer the question and give advice. I do have advice. I just want to say, even though I’m hyper aware of how bad comparisons are, because I’ve interviewed all these grown up twins who’ve … either they’re bigger enemies because their parents compared them to each other, or they’re friends, but the comparisons really hurt them, really made things worse. It hurt their own relationship. It just made an extra pressure on them growing up. So, all of that is to say that you have to avoid comparisons, and I know more than anyone how bad comparisons are, and yet I still find-and my husband knows that too-I still find in our household we’ve made comparisons very frequently, unintentionally, but it just happens.

Dara: We have a picky eater, for instance, and it’s so tempting to say, “Look at your sister! She’s trying it! Just take bite! Take one bite!” We’re always struggling with this picky eater. “Just take one bite!” And her sister’s sitting right there trying it, you know, or enjoying the food, and it’s so tempting to say, “Look at your sister, she’s trying it. Just take a bite. And I feel like food issue-food is a big issue for us with this one picky eater, so it happens around food, but it can happen around anything. And even in our household where I know we’re not supposed to, it has come out of my mouth, and I thought, “It’s so hard not to compare them,” because when you want to improve behavior, what better thing to do than to just look right … 2 feet away, there’s good behavior being exhibited, look at that good behavior. You always want to compare them. It’s so natural.

Dara: But things you can do, tips you can do-and no parent is perfect, that’s why I’m saying that I do it. I do it, I don’t want to do it, I know I shouldn’t but it’s very natural to do it.

Dara: But here are some tips for not comparing them. The more-and here I go again about one on one time. The more one on one time you have with your child, the more you know your child as an individual. Think about your child in terms of what he or she likes, what makes him laugh? What’s his favorite music, what things does he like to do? How is he with friends? What does he say in the morning? Just think of the things that make him unique, and the more you look at that child and think of who she is, and what makes him or her tick, I think the more you always will look at that child as an individual, not to be compared with someone else. You wouldn’t compare your own child to somebody who lives five houses down, for the most part. You wouldn’t compare them to random people.

Dara: The reason we compare so often is that there’s someone right there that it makes a lot of sense to compare them. But the more you look at that child as an individual, the less likely you are to compare. So if I was really thinking in those moments of my picky child-picky eater child-and I’m so frustrated, and I thought, “She just doesn’t like trying new things, and she’s an individual, and it doesn’t matter who’s sitting next to her eating that thing.” If I look at her as the individual who she is, I have to work with that individual she is, and not bring in anybody else in this conversation.

Dara: What relevance does it have that somebody, you know, if you’re at a restaurant and somebody at the table next to you orders fish, and you don’t eat fish, what relevance does it have that that person next to you at that table is eating fish? It has no relevance, so in this picky eater situation, my picky eating child is probably, in her head, thinking, “Who cares that my sister likes it? I don’t like it!” And that’s what you should be listening to.

Dara: And I think it helps when you talk with your spouse at night about your children, you should be talking about both of them in separate conversations, you know, separate the conversation. When you’re having meetings with the parent teacher night, you know, and you’re talking about your kids, if it’s the same teacher for your kids, schedule a separate time to talk about each child. Don’t sit there with the teacher and talk about both children at the same time. The first fifteen minutes is talking about child one, the second fifteen minute is talking about child two. You don’t bring up comparisons, you just talk about the child as thought that was your only child. So there are moments throughout the day that you probably can and should look at your child as an individual and meet that child’s needs in the moment for that child alone.

Joe: We’ve had some success with focusing on the positive things that our kids are doing, and reinforcing the positive behavior. Even if they’re doing … like, you mentioned picky eating. So if they’re sitting at the dinner table and they’re not eating the food that’s been served, you know, focusing on the good things that they are doing, maybe that they’re sitting at the table, that they’re using their silverware properly, or they’re having good manners or anything that is worthy of praise can help build the up individually and then help them take that next step of doing the behavior that you would like to see them do.

Dara: I love that. I love that. I think it’s really easy to tell your children what not to do, and it’s much harder to add to that what they should be doing, and to … it’s so easy to give the negative and not give the positive, and when you see a picky eater, you know, most of us parents-when I see a picky eater, I feel frustration, I feel stress. What you are doing is, you’re saying, “Wait, this is a wonderful child, who’s a really nice person, great at school, and, so, she doesn’t want to eat the broccoli on the plate.” But you’re going to focus on the great things and build her up, and focus on the positive and reinforce that, and I think that’s a really nice way-a really empathic and special way to treat a child, because guess what? They’re just individuals, and they’re no more flawed than we are. We just don’t have people constantly looking at us, telling us what we’re doing wrong.

Joe: You had mentioned interactions with teachers at school, and one big decision for parents of twins is, should they try to get their kids in the same class, or should they put them in separate classes? Based on your conversations with, and all your interviews with twins, from the twins’ perspective, what did they prefer, or what worked out better for them? Being together or separate in school?

Dara: You know, it really varied. The first couple of twins I interviewed, surprisingly, they all had very similar stories of them being young, like preschool age or kindergarten age, and having the-I’m using their words-“separation forced upon us.” And the memory was kind of traumatic. Interestingly, sometimes I would talk-I didn’t always talk to both twins. Sometimes I was just-and I never talked to twins at the same time. It was always one on one conversations I had. And sometimes a twin wasn’t available, or, sadly, was deceased, so I didn’t always talked to both twins in the relationship. But in a couple of these instances where I talked to one twin and she said, “I remember, they pulled her away and took her to a separate classroom, and I was bawling my eyes out, and then they brought her back, and then they took her away again.” It was like a very traumatic experience for thee one twin, and then when I spoke to the other twin, she said, “Yeah, I wasn’t crying. I wanted to go to the different class. I wanted to be away from my sister, and they kept bringing me back to her, and that was annoying to me, because I wanted to be with these other kids.” So, it’s interesting to hear that. You know, just because one twin is very upset by the separation, the other might be, you know, loving it.

Dara: I will say, the vast majority of twins I spoke with appreciated being separated, wanted to be separated, or if they didn’t want to at first, they saw afterwards how good and beneficial it was. Some twins were even sent to separate schools, because the schools were so small, or one had a learning issue, and needed a private school. But the separate schools seemed to work really well for twins too. Most of the twins said that they just-for identical twins, especially-they hated being confused for their twin in the class, to a point where one twin even complained that she got her sister’s grade in an oral presentation in Spanish class, and she knows it wasn’t her grade, you know, and the teacher just confused them. And her mom ended up going, and then, you know, raising hell about it. But especially for identical twins, they’ve also-they’ve felt that being separated was really good for not being confused, and not being compared to one another. And socially it’s great. They can have their own set of friends, and not have to compete for friends. So, I’ve heard just such an overwhelming … overwhelmingly, it seemed that separation was a good thing.

Dara: I’ve also interviewed educators about this, because I wanted to see if they saw any difference separating … if they had strong feelings one way or another, and they all felt that separation was good. They also oftentimes would blame parents for comparing the kids more than the teachers. You know, the teachers struggle so hard not to compare twins. They know it’s wrong. But then they’ll have parents some in, and while the parents are supposed to be discussing child one, they keep mentioning child two in comparison, constantly pitting one child against their other child, and the teachers just want to stay focused on those students-the one student they’re supposed to be talking about. So yeah, if I had to make a rule, obviously the rules are, and the rules should be, that it’s a case by case basis. But for the most part, it just seems that separation is really beneficial, and it just seems that most of the twins I spoke with really felt like it was a good thing for them.

Dara: I will mention there is some stress in the early years when one boy’s twin sister had a severe peanut allergy, and when he was separated from her for the first year, he was sick to his stomach worried about her, that she would-I guess in their household they’re very strict about peanut exposure, and it was a very severe allergy and she could die, and I guess they were telling the kids this at an early age. So he was just sick with worry that whole year that he wasn’t with his sister, because he was just scared that somebody would expose her to peanuts and she would die. And that’s just so heartbreaking that that was a burden on him, you know, that he felt responsible if his sister died, and he was the one who should be taking care of here, and the separation caused him to stress about that.

Dara: So, you know, there are some moments, the first one of separation can be hard. I will say on a personal note, I separated my kids as early as I could, so in the preschool, the preschool began to offer enough classes that we could separate them when the girls were about two. And so I separated them early in that sense, and there was no problem with the separation at all. They were fine being in separate rooms. And the one who wasn’t really talking as much started talking more. She started developing more, because she didn’t have her sister around to talk for her. And so, I found it very beneficial for them developmentally to be separated at that early age.

Joe: I agree. In our case, we homeschooled our kids up until our girls were entering the third grade and then we sent them off to public school. So, that was the first time they had really been separated in different classes. And, as you had mentioned in one of your examples, one of our twins was all about it. She wanted to be separate, she wanted to discover her new friends by herself, and the other twin had a lot of sadness and attachment challenges to her sister. They were in the same school, so they were able to see each other at recess, around lunch and things like that, so they were able to support each other a little bit during the day. But it took a good-that first year in school for them to adjust to being separate. And now they’re doing fine with that. But it did take a lot of encouragement and coaching at home as well as communication with teachers to try to navigate some of those challenges that they were having.

Dara: Yeah, that’s great, and that’s a really good point you’re making, is when you do separate your children, be aware that it could be hard on them, and sort of talk to the teachers and make sure everybody’s on board, and let them know they can come home and vent about it and discuss it. You know, it’s so hard when kids, they’re constantly-their world is being forced on them all the time, you know, adults are making decisions for them all the time. It’s so easy for them to feel voiceless. So, to sort off bring them in and recognize that this is hard, and they can talk about their feelings and open up about it, and talk about the challenges they face, and I think that’s a really nice idea to empower them a little bit, and sort of keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening.

Joe: Well, Dara, we really appreciate you spending some time with us today, sharing some of your twinsight. If listeners would like to learn more about your book or connect with you, where should they go?

Dara: They can find the book on Amazon. I also have a blog called sometwinsight.com. I have a lot of good content up on the blog, and you can reach me through the blog. There’s a contact page, and you can e-mail me.

Joe: Excellent. And I’ll link up to all of those in the show notes for the podcast, so people can connect with you. Dara, thank you so much for sharing some of your twin insight. Again, her book is Twinsight: A Guide to Raising Emotionally Healthy Twins. Appreciate you spending time with us today.

Dara: Thanks, Joe. Take care.

Joe: I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Dara. I know that, me, as a father, I really got bogged down in the logistics and the practical and physical things of raising twins very early on in their journey, but as we talked about in the podcast today, the emotional health and mentoring of your children and building that one on one relationship with each of your twins is so important for their long term well being.

So, I hope you can pick up a copy of Dara’s book, Twinsight.

And as I mentioned at the top of the show, today’s episode is brought to you by my new twin stroller advisor that will help guide you through the process of picking which of all these dozens of twin strollers would be best for you and your family’s need. Head on over to dadsguidetotwins.com/strollers, and I’ll walk you through what the best stroller’s going to be for your particular situation. Whether you’re expecting twins still, or it’s time to transition out of a newborn type stroller into something that will support your toddlers.

Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll see you next time.

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Dara Lovitz, author of Twinsight: A Guide to Raising Emotionally Healthy Twins, shares practical tips you can use as a parent to help each of your twins (and their siblings) develop healthy and happy relationships and individual self-worth and self-sufficiency.

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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