Twins grow and develop first as womb-mates, …
… are born on the same day (with rare exception) … are dressed alike … share a bassinet … share a crib … share a bedroom … share, share and share some more. This doubling-up is true for identical or fraternal twins (including boy/girl combos … I know because I did it with mine!)
For a while, most parents of twins enjoy pairing up our little duos because, well let’s face it, it’s fun, and they’re so darn cute! We’ve lots of “twin sets” of clothing outfits, bedding, toys, etc., and we naturally enjoy them. Now, I’m not saying everything has to be exactly the same. Some little girl outfits are same style but are different colors, or the same pattern is found on your daughter’s dress which matches her twin brother’s pants or vest.
The children themselves grow in an awareness and become used to this type of treatment … for a while.
Then comes the day when one little girls falls in love with one dress that she must wear day after day, yet her twin doesn’t really show any interest in that same dress. Or, as his mom, you notice that one of your sons is very interested in a particular toy which his twin totally discards when given it.
Twins or not, identical or not … each child is demonstrating his or her own unique individuality.
As parents, we’re the first to recognize our child’s differences from the others, her likes and dislikes, his preferences and habits. I’ve witnessed my children as each began to assert his and her own individuality … and also as they’ve each gone after their own interests, different friends, sports, hobbies, etc., after having shared just about everything in the beginning. The experience is bitter/sweet when it happens, because as their mother, I recognize that this is all a part of growing up.
As a parent of twins, have you begun to experience their asserting individuality? Independence from the other? A desire to be treated as a separate individual as opposed to a packaged-set?
Two young ladies couldn’t be more different than my nearly 17 year old twin daughters. Each has specific talents, interests, friends (although all within the same group), style, mannerisms, desires, wishes, goals, and so on. They are fraternal twins, but I have to say that the same is true for their best friends, who happen to be a set of identical twins!
Since as parents, we have no control over our children’s desires and wishes, it’s so important that we support, encourage and celebrate each of our twin’s differences and special characteristics which make each person who that person really is.
So, although it’s fun to enjoy our little “twinkie-packs”, our little peas-in-a-pod, our little double bundles, it’s equally fun to experience the transformations as they blossom into the unique and wonderfully special young people they are becoming before our very eyes.