Thai people who interact with tourists use the expression "Same Same but Different" to describe many situations, including how an Australian and a Canadian compare (or any other Western people).
Lately I've been thinking about my girls twinness. We have spoken many times of nurturing their individuality but we aren't really doing it in many ways. Sure I try to listen to them but they interrupt each other all the time. When one is telling me something important and has my full attention, the other one gets jealous and tries to butt in. Tears are often involved.
We haven't had separate birthday parties and we haven't done one on one time. We've been meaning to but...
John and I spoke briefly about it last night and I'm determined to start now. Even just a 20 minute walk with one while the other reads at home with Daddy. It doesn't have to be something super exciting. I think it's important for all children to get some one on one time with parents and it's especially important for twins.
I know there is so much more I need to know about the emotional development of mono-zygotic twins. I have a book called Emotionally Healthy Twins, by Joan A. Friedman which I wish I had read when I was pregnant.
I regret not having read up on this and applied the information much yet. My girls are very, very shy and reserved in a new situation. I know this is likely largely temperament but I think there is an element of never having to approach a new situation alone. They stick together and don't have to put themselves out there. I don't want their relationship to be a barrier to their own self-discovery. I admit to bragging about how well they play together and leave me time to do other things (Ha) but I'm realizing that is not always a good thing. Friedman writes, "...a lack of psychological boundaries between twin children can lead to confused roles and inappropriate behaviour."
Here are some ideas I've read in Friedman's book:
- Separate dressers for clothing.
- Each twin should have her own belongings she don't have to share.
- One on one time with Mom & Dad
- Separate play dates
- Separate birthday parties
- Separate Pre-school or Kindergarten classes if you think there is a problem (ie one twin is caretaker for the other)
- Different extra-curricular activities
Some of these will be hard for busy parents to manage, but I think it's worth the effort to try some of it. I don't want Same Same but Different for my girls.
Do you manage to spend one on one time with your twins? Even if you don't have twins, do you spend one on one time with your children? How do you manage it?