There are a lot of different ways that we can parent our twins. And it’s not always the same between each of our twins, and it’s not the same between families. There are lots of opportunities to find advice and examples of what’s working out there from other parents of twins. However, you are the parent. And ultimately, you make the decision of what’s going to happen in your home, with your family, and with your twins.
Today I want to share ten things to keep in mind of how you can raise your twins your own way and be confident and happy in so doing.
1. Learn From Others
First, learn from others so that you can get ideas of what to try. If you don’t educate yourself on the possibilities, you’re going to have to learn everything from scratch, which you should not have to do. There’s great resources, of course, in books, in communities, and in forums.
2. Experimental Parenting
Second, experiment with your parenting to find out what works. Yes, you are a scientist, and you need to experiment to determine what is going to work best for you and for your twins. If you don’t try different things, you’re not going to know. And you may not be having as much success as you think you can with feeding or helping your twins to sleep because you haven’t tried something else.
3. Use What Works
Use what works even if you weren’t expecting it to be that way. Oftentimes, as parents, we go in with preset expectations of how something should work with our twins, and we are reluctant to change our pattern or our habits when they don’t work. We may then try to blame the twins or external circumstances for something not working. So, make sure you are willing to try what’s going to work, even if it’s not what you started out doing.
4. Abandon Failed Tactics
That leads us to number four. Be ready to abandon what is working when it stops working. You’re going to get very comfortable in certain aspects of parenting your twins. Then in a week or a month, you’re going to have to change that completely because it will no longer work. Your twins will have grown. They will have matured. And their needs will have changed. So be ready to change, and abandon what you were doing in favor of what’s going to work tomorrow.
5. Ignore Others
Don’t worry about what others are doing. This is your family, and these are your twins. There is no right or wrong way to raise twins. What is right is what is working and what is best for your family.
6. Ask for Help
Ask for help with your twins. Many hands make light work, and this is definitely true with twins. So if you invite friends or family over to help with your twins during the day or during the night, definitely do it. It’ll make things a lot easier for you and your family.
7. Ask Questions
Ask questions of others. This can be with your local multiples group even on Facebook. There’s several groups for parents of twins, including our own on Facebook. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Even if these questions have been asked before, you’ll get new perspective and new answers that you can apply in your situation.
8. Taking Advice and Comments
Remember others don’t understand fully your situation, especially those that do not have twins. Don’t take others’ comments or judgments personally. Frankly, many people are often ignorant of the reality of having twins, and so their suggestions or advice may be completely out of whack. It may not fit your situation. Or their comments about what they think is possible may be completely beyond reality. So, remember that others do not have your situation. They do not have your perspective, especially those that have never had twins before.
(RELATED: Love podcasts? Check out the entire Dad's Guide to Twins Podcast archive for additional twin tips and interviews with twin dads.)
9. Stay Positive
Focus on the positive. You are going to have small wins and small victories each day with your twins. You just have to look for them. Even in the most overwhelming and most complicated days that you have with your twins, something will have gone right. Focus on those small wins and things that did go well to help build up your confidence with your twins. Day by day, your twins are going to become more self-sufficient in eating, sleeping, and taking care of life. And ultimately, that’s going to make life more manageable for you.
10. Love Your Twins
No matter how you raise them, what’s your parenting style, what you are going to do, or what you aren’t going to do; love your twins and love their mother. Do all you can to help them be successful in your family.
No matter which way you parent, if it’s advice that you took from somebody else or something that you created up on your own, do it your way. Raise your twins your own way, and it’ll be fine.
You’re going to find what works for your family and what works for your twins. So are you going to raise your twins just like somebody else? Probably not. You’ll take pieces of what works and apply it in your family. And ultimately, you’ll be successful as a father of twins!
I talk more about specific tactics to help raise 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 82: Different Maturity Levels, Dad Feeding Twins Solo, Raising Twins Your Way.