Your twins will have a lot in common, even if they aren’t identical. Nevertheless, they will start from an early age to show you how independent they can be in their behaviors and actions. Here’s what to look for as your twins start to exercise their independence.
When your twins are infants, these opinions are expressed with tears or physical outbursts. When they are toddlers these opinions may turn into temper tantrums. As your twins develop their speaking skills, they will start to argue with you and express themselves with what seems like the astute logic of a trial lawyer.
Your twins won’t always want to do what you’d like them to do nor continue to do what they’ve always done. Your twins won’t always want to do what the other twin wants to do. Each of your twins is unique and will show you as much through their daily actions.
Your twins will not always want to eat the same thing they’ve always eaten. An interesting pattern we’ve seen with our twins is that one has been a great eater and the other a little pickier. In addition, when one twin eats really well, she loves the praise we give her. The other twin will then, in turn, want the same positive reinforcement.
Study the behaviors and preferences of your twins at mealtime. How do they exert their independence with food choices or in behaviors relative to each other?
Choosing Their Own Clothes
When we brought our identical twin girls home, we dressed them in different colored clothes every day to help tell them apart. Eventually, they outgrew this habit, not just in the size of clothes but with the ability to express their opinion. Our toddler daughters started to prefer other colors than had been the norm. Fortunately for us, we were no longer relying on clothing color to tell them apart.
Look at your twins’ preferences with clothes. Are they similar or different from each other? How are they expressing their independence through what they want to wear (even before they are teenagers)?
Should you put your twins in a dance class? Soccer? At first, you might get away with both going to the same activity. However, their opinion will eventually rule the day and you just might end up with one twin in dance with the other in gymnastics. One twin will like to draw while the other will like to dress up.
A variety of “likes” and “dislikes” is what makes your twins so fun. You never quite know what to expect.
Look for Independence in Your Twins
I always find it fascinating to note the differences and similarities in our girls. Don’t let the days pass by without looking for what makes your twins unique and special.
(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)
Picture by Jeremy Miles