Planning Ahead with Multiples: A Glimpse Into the Future

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Posted by vera | Posted in Parenting, Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 03-07-2015

When you’re pregnant with twins, triplets or more, it can be hard to imagine parenting teenage multiples. And yet, before you know it, you’ll be sitting at the doctor’s office with two 11-year-olds, wondering what happened to those two screaming newborns, and who these smiling, boisterous per-adolescents are!

Twins Relationships

IMG_9652One thing we always tried to do with our baby and toddler twins is to foster a healthy, “mature dependent” relationship. It’s a fine balance when raising multiples… too much time together, and you get closely coupled twins, triplets or more, who struggle with their self identity. Yet too much time apart can create extreme individuals, who negate or try to dominate their twin-ship.

Bigger Babies, Longer Stretches Apart

When our monozygotic twins were babies, we took care to provide some one:one time with each baby. As they grew into toddler twins, we ensured some “singleton time” at least once a week with each child. Sometimes I spent an afternoon with Twin A, while their dad spent time with Twin B, or vice versa. At other times, we would leave one twin at daycare for the day, and both parents would have “special day” together with the other twin, spending time at the park or the zoo or the swimming pool with just one child.

By the time they were three years old, our twins were taking short overnight trips with each of us. One summer I took a twin to the Montreal Jazz festival for three days while their dad hung out in Toronto with the other twin, and then the Montreal twin got special time with Dad while I spent a few nights camping out at the Toronto Islands with his brother.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

This year, our boys will be spending their longest stretch apart: One of them has chosen to spend a full week at overnight camp north of the city, while the other preferred to stay here in town and spend the week improving his chess game with a family friend. The extended hug goodbye captured in the photo above was self directed; they clearly needed to share a physical sign of affection with one another before parting ways for the week!

Two days after his brother left, Twin A wrote and mailed a long letter sharing all the highlights of their time apart to date. And this from a kid who rarely writes outside of school!!

Thinking Ahead, and Parenting with Intention

As you prepare for the arrival of your little ones, consider how you will enjoy and celebrate their twinship, and how you will best foster their individual personalities. Thinking ahead can help you parent your twins, triplets or more with a view to avoiding the closely coupled or extreme individual ends of the multiples relationship continuum, and an emphasis on raising mature dependents.

Happy Twins Parenting!

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