Who is Family to Your Children?? July 26, 2011Posted by lisawifemom in It's All About the Twins.
Tags: Family, twins
We had the wonderful pleasure of having dinner at a friends’ house tonight. Our children, two sets of twins, get along so well that the adults are actually allowed the luxury of sitting together to share a meal and conversation. It’s truly delightful, and I understand rare.
The topic came up about what “family” really means and how we teach that to our children. I think for many people, we are literal in our teaching of this to our children. They learn as they mature that their family are those that either share some blood line, or familiar acquaintance, for lack of betters words.
However, as we discussed tonight, for many, this is not true. It could be that family members are undesirable examples for our children, or too many miles away for our children to really know. In that regard, we as adults surround ourselves with friends that essentially become our family. We rely on them in ways that many people rely on family. So isn’t it true that we should in turn be teaching our children that these people are also, and maybe more so, our family?
I think it is imperative that we widen the definition of family for our children. Can you, or do you, refer to non-blood relations as family to your children? Please post a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
We Don’t Call Them “The Twins” July 13, 2011Posted by lisawifemom in It's All About the Twins.
Tags: characteristics, Twin
We learned from many different twins while I was pregnant that they all really resented being called “the twins” or “the girls” or “the boys.” We took a parenting twins workshop, taught by an identical twin who is married to a fraternal twin. She stressed this point of individuality many times. It seems obvious, of course they are individuals and should be treated as such, however, most of the time that’s not what happens, and not by just the parents. We also met several twins during my pregnancy (random waiters, friends of friends, etc.) and when asked what it was like or if they had advice, they all said the exact same thing – treat them like individuals.
The examples we received were don’t dress them alike, don’t refer to them as one (as above), don’t compare them (biggie!), don’t expect them to act the same, etc. Of course some of this is very hard, even if your kids are 4 years apart, it’s very difficult to not compare them, but the other stuff really was not so hard, especially as ours are girl/boy. We also stressed this point to our family very early on, and for the most part they’ve stuck to it. They occasionally refer to them as the twins, etc., but rarely to their face, and an occasional thing is not a biggie to us.
It’s so exciting for parents to have twins (mixed with pure fright of course), and it’s easy to fall into the stereotypical traps, especially with identical girls or boys, dressing them alike is very tempting. But setting a pattern of behavior from the get go will help you to continue that behavior once your kids get old enough to know better, to care, and to be affected.
Our twins couldn’t be any more different if they tried. Aside from sharing the same birthday, and a strange “connection,” they have no stereotypical twin characteristics. I’ve always said, two children born at the same time, unless identical, should not be called twins. That word conjures up so many things that simply don’t apply for most fraternal twins. I’ve not yet come up with the word, but will give it some thought. Any ideas??